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Large increases in organic food sales are expected within 5–10 years

W ciągu 5–10 lat spodziewane duże wzrosty sprzedaży żywności ekologicznej

According to research, only every fourth customer can correctly recognize the Euroleaf symbol in a store, which guarantees that the product was made in accordance with the strict EU requirements of organic farming.

– The organic food market will reach a value of approximately PLN 2 billion in 2023, and the prospects are very good. In the West, the percentages are much higher compared to conventional food, so in the next 5-10 years we will be chasing the West in this respect, says Krystyna Radkowska, president of the Polish Chamber of Organic Food, to the Newseria Biznes agency.

According to NIQ research, consumers in Poland are increasingly interested in leading an ecological lifestyle, which is manifested, among others, by: in using reusable packaging, choosing environmentally friendly means of transport or buying food associated with bio and eco. 35% of people pay attention to this aspect. consumers of retail chains. Those who choose organic products usually remain faithful to their choices – 83%. of them declare that they buy the same or more organic products than a year ago.

Eurostat: organic farming in the EU covered 16.9 million hectares in 2022

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Eurostat: organic farming in the EU covered 16.9 million hectares in 2022

NIQ data shows that women – mainly aged 30-39 and earning higher incomes – are invariably responsible for the turn towards bio and eco. Having a family may also be an important factor in choosing organic food, as the largest organic categories are invariably food in jars for children, plant-based dairy alternatives and yogurts.

– In the channels we study – hyper- and supermarkets, discount stores and grocery stores – the market for organic-certified products is currently PLN 1 billion. This is currently a small part of the food market, approximately 0.5%. However, what is important is that this market is growing, not only in terms of value, but also in volume; year by year it is growing by approximately 4%. We also see growing interest in consumer declarations. About 5 percent of them declare that they did not buy organic products last year, but now they are already buying them – says Agnieszka Bujak from Nielsen IQ.

Where do Poles buy organic food?

The sale of certified organic products in the part of the trade sector surveyed by NIQ, worth PLN 1 billion, accounts for half of the market. The second PLN 1 billion is accounted for by specialist stores, e-commerce, markets and direct sales from farmers. Statistics show that it is specialized stores and the e-commerce channel that generate a significant increase in sales in the organic food segment. In Poland, over 700 specialist stores and over 100 online stores have such an offer. There are already several thousand organic products available on the market, and the best stores offer over 5,000 in one place – on the website or in stores. various ecological products. More than half of their turnover is made up of certified fresh products, including: vegetables and fruits, meat and cold cuts, as well as bread and pastries.

– Polish consumers buy organic certified products most often in discount stores. They are responsible for almost 50 percent. turnover, this is where we spend the most on organic certified products. However, we can also buy them in hypermarkets and supermarkets, which generate approximately 12% each. turnover, and in small grocery stores, which constitute approximately 1/4 of this market – says Agnieszka Bujak. – Organic products are still more expensive than conventional products, but this price difference is decreasing. Paradoxically, inflation favored the development of the organic market, because it was the highest for such base categories as milk, butter and sugar. However, the price of organic products increased only slightly, so the price difference decreased. And this is certainly an incentive for consumers to reach for such products.

The biggest barrier remains low consumer awareness

However, the problem may be the fact that – despite the growing interest in organic food – many consumers still have trouble recognizing such products on store shelves. They often fall for marketing tricks – such as the green background of the label or slogans such as "natural", "straight from the field", etc. – choosing products because of their attractive packaging or advertising messages suggesting ecological origin.

– The availability of organic products increases every year. If our awareness of their markings and the benefits of organic food actually increased, it would certainly have a positive impact on the growth of this market, says Dawid Zieliński, research expert of the Delta Partner Association. – Consumers are partially aware of what certificates are and what they mean, but when we take a closer look at the results of our research, it turns out that in practice there is very little understanding of certificates and the values behind them. We buy what we consider ecological, but the certificates still do not appeal to us or we simply do not recognize them.

A farmer receives over PLN 4 for 1 liter of milk! Others can only dream of such rates

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A farmer receives over PLN 4 for 1 liter of milk! Others can only dream of such rates

– Organic food in the store is very easy to distinguish. Just look for the sign of a green rectangle with white stars arranged in the shape of a leaf, i.e. the so-called Euroleaf. This is a guarantee that a given product was produced in accordance with Polish and EU regulations, which are very restrictive regarding the production of organic food – adds Krystyna Radkowska.

Research conducted by SW Research for the Polish Chamber of Organic Food shows that currently only 1/4 of Polish consumers can correctly recognize organic food marked with the Euroleaf symbol in a store. The Chamber emphasizes that without this mark, the colors of the product or the manufacturer's marketing slogans are irrelevant. Only certified farmers and processors who comply with the strict rules of the EU organic production system have the right to place this symbol on their products.

– The biggest challenges facing the organic food market are currently working on consumer awareness of what organic food is and how it differs from conventional food, working on educating people on how to distinguish organic food from conventional food on the store shelf. Greenwashing is also a big challenge for us, as it floods the market and misleads consumers, e.g. in the form of green packaging with a cow painted in a field. This gives us the feeling that we are buying natural, organic food, when in fact we are only buying food in nice packaging, which does not necessarily have anything to do with ecology – says the president of the Polish Chamber of Organic Food.

The number of producers and the area of organic crops in Poland are growing

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The number of producers and the area of organic crops in Poland are growing

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