Pandemic prompts organic sales surge

Organic products
Organic products

Millions of consumers have turned to organic food since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and 56% of all Australian shoppers have purchased certified organic in the past year, according to the Australian Organic Market Report 2021.

Released by Australian Organic Limited (AOL) in June, the report also reveals 37% of regular organic shoppers increased the amount of organic food they purchased in the past year.

AOL CEO Niki Ford says the dual health and wider environmental benefits of organic production was driving the sector’s growing consumer base.

“In Australia, consumers are continuing to prioritise personal and environmental health, and this has been brought to front of mind by recent climatic events and the global pandemic,” Ms Ford said.

“Over the course of the past year we’ve seen around nine million Australian households purchase organic food during this incredibly challenging time.”

The report uncovered that Australians were encouraged by the benefits of eating organic food. 62% of shoppers cited personal health as a motivator for their first purchase of organic produce, while 45% alluded to environmental considerations.

The research shows more than 80% of food shoppers in Australia are receptive to buying an organic product, with 60% currently purchasing organics at a low level, but showing a high interest in fresh organic produce.

37% of established organic shoppers increased the number of organic products they purchased in the past year, with the average household spend on organic increasing 12.8% since 2019.

Nicky Moltschaniwskyj, Head of Marketing at New Zealand company Ceres Organics, says there is “so much more value” in organics than people often realise,

“Organic does not just mean products free from chemicals, it extends to caring for our growing partners, protecting our wildlife, and caring for our planet by protecting the health of the soils, waterways and air.

“Ultimately, the more people that choose organic the better it is for all of us.”

Find out more on trends in natural and organic products and shopping habits in the September issue of Retail World.