Berlin (dpa) – Many Germans save on organic food due to high inflation. Organic shops and organic supermarkets sold significantly fewer products in the first three months of this year than in the same period last year, as the Federal Association for Natural Foods and Natural Goods reported to the German Press Agency.
On average, daily sales were nearly 10 percent lower in January and more than 18 percent lower in March. The trend in organic wholesale is similar. Figures for the quantity sold were not available.
Association for the cancellation of VAT
According to the association’s CEO, Kathrin Jäckel, consumers are currently paying more attention to price due to inflation and the war in Ukraine, as well as rising costs for energy, mobility and daily necessities. The growth years of mostly more expensive organic products accelerated during the Corona crisis because people ate more at home and less in canteens and restaurants. Now inflation has reversed the trend.
Jäckel warned that if less and less organic is purchased, the government’s goal of increasing the organic share to 30 percent by 2030 would be in jeopardy. Currently, organic represents about ten percent of the cultivated area. “But the climate crisis is not taking a break,” said Jäckel. He called for VAT to be abolished for organic foods and natural products, especially fruits and vegetables. The tax on dairy and meat products should be lower than on conventionally produced products.
If it’s organic, turn more and more to own brands
However, in a recent study, the market research company GfK put the sales losses in the organic sector into perspective. Although business with organic products declined in the first quarter, the drop in sales in the organic sector was less than in consumer goods in general. “Therefore, it can definitely be said that organic is still relatively fashionable,” the market researchers emphasized.
In view of the current price increase, customers are increasingly turning to the retail chain’s own brands when buying organic products and are ignoring the more expensive products of the branded manufacturers. According to Gfk, the retailers’ own organic brands achieved a sales increase of a good nine percent in the first three months. Manufacturers of organic brands, on the other hand, lost 11 percent in sales.