Germans have more of an appetite for organic food again
As of: 12:50 p.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes
Regional organic vegetables in a shop. The demand for organic food is growing
Source: dpa/Bernd Settnik
Because the cost of living rose, consumers also gave up organic food. Natural food stores in particular felt this. Now the trend is changing: sales and sales volumes are increasing again. The organic cultivation areas in Germany are also increasing.
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 exact figures for the German organic market this Tuesday at the world‘s largest natural food trade fair, Biofach, in Nuremberg.
“Consumers are slowly coming out of their 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 spending. In 2022, according to the organic food industry industry report, their total sales fell by around twelve percent to 3.83 billion euros.
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.
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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. These do not require chemically synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides, which are produced using fossil energy.
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According to BÖLW, more companies in Germany are switching to organic farming. “Area the size of more than 300 football fields is added every day,” said Andres. In 2022, the cultivated area increased to almost 1.87 million hectares – around eleven percent of German agricultural area.
Even with the renewed increase, Andres emphasized that we are still far from the goal of having 30 percent of the agricultural area cultivated organically by 2030. “We don’t have a knowledge problem, we have 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.
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