For years, organic products were very popular with consumers. With prices rising sharply, they preferred to turn to conventional and cheaper products. Now customers are returning to organic markets.
Because of the high prices last year, many consumers preferred conventional products instead of organic or bought cheaper organic goods in discount stores – but according to the industry, organic markets are gradually becoming more crowded again.
“Overall, the organic specialist trade will be robust in 2023, contrary to many expectations,” said Kathrin Jäckel, managing director of the Federal Association of Natural Foods and Natural Products (BNN). Demand has increased significantly again, particularly in the current second half of the year.
High prices are stopping the organic boom
However, it remains to be seen whether the increasing sales figures in the second half of the year will be able to compensate for the losses in the first half of the year. So far, the industry is assuming stagnation. At best, there could be a slight increase in sales at the end of the year, it was said.
In the first half of the year, sales were still significantly below the previous year’s level. According to BNN, industry revenues fell by seven percent in January alone. According to the association, many people no longer buy organic products in purely organic markets, but rather resort to cheaper organic goods in discount stores – if at all. The high prices resulting from the war in Ukraine had temporarily stopped the years-long organic boom.
Appeal to politics
Since inflation has fallen more sharply in Germany, consumers have been shopping more frequently in organic stores. Since June, the industry association has consistently recorded increasing sales figures compared to the respective months of the previous year – even though the average number of items purchased and the average receipt value, i.e. the purchase amount, remain the same.
“Now politics is required,” Jäckel continued. “It should promote concrete measures to achieve the goal of 30 percent organic by 2030.” What is meant is the federal government’s plan to have 30 percent of agricultural land in Germany cultivated organically by the end of the decade.