Many people paid more attention to their money in 2023. They still treated themselves more to organic food. However, the purchasing trends seem to have solidified them.
Despite inflation and a weak economy, people in Germany have found a greater taste for organic food again. After a slight dip in 2022, demand increased again last year, said the chairwoman of the Association of Organic Food Industry (BÖLW), Tina Andres.
NIQ consumer goods expert David Georgi also confirms this: “Organic food sales achieved another significant growth of 8.7 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year.” Interestingly, this development is not only due to higher prices as in many other food areas. “Sales of organic food are also growing significantly at 4.7 percent.”
BÖLW wants to present figures at the trade fair
BÖLW wants to present exact figures for the German organic market on Tuesday at the world’s largest natural food trade fair, Biofach, in Nuremberg. This is the umbrella association for German producers, processing companies and the trade in organic food. The natural cosmetics trade fair Vivaness is held parallel to Biofach. Around 2,800 international exhibitors will be showing new products at the trade fair duo until February 16th.
“Consumers are slowly coming out of shock again, said Andres, with a view to their purchasing reluctance in view of the rising cost of living. The upswing can be felt in all sales channels, including specialist retailers. The natural food stores have recently felt most clearly that consumers are paying more attention to their products Pay attention to expenses. In 2022, according to the organic food industry industry report, their total sales fell by around 12 percent to 3.83 billion euros.
Organic products asked at the discounter
Private labels continue to play a crucial role in organic food, said Georgi. Their share in food retail and drugstores is currently more than 60 percent and continues to grow. In addition, people were increasingly buying organic products in discount stores.
The prices for organic food rose less sharply last year compared to conventional products, said Andres. While there was a nine percent price increase for conventional foods, the price increase for organic foods was five percent. One reason is that the exploding energy costs are affecting organic farmers less severely. According to her, these do not require chemically synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides that are produced using fossil energy.
Farmers are increasingly switching to organic farming
According to BÖLW, more and more farmers in Germany are switching to organic farming. “Area the size of over 300 football fields is added every day,” said Andres. In 2022, the cultivated area increased to almost 1.87 million hectares – that is around 11 percent of German agricultural area.
Even with the renewed growth, we are still far from the goal of having 30 percent of the agricultural area cultivated organically by 2030, emphasized Andres. “We don’t have a knowledge problem, but rather an implementation problem in agricultural policy.” There are excellent plans and well-developed strategies. But none of this will work if they don’t have a sufficient budget, she said.