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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 5:52 pm
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Food and Drink

Go Organic for a Cheaper Breakfast

Buying an organic breakfast can be on average 6% cheaper than a non organic alternative and as much as 14% cheaper in some stores.  The research from the Organic Trade Board reveals that organic food, often perceived to be expensive and exclusive, can be cheaper than leading non organic brands.
The Organic Trade Board, a group of key organic companies and organisations, has carried out research to investigate Britain’s attitude towards organic food.  As part of the research into the organic consumer’s motivation for purchasing, the Organic Trade Board has also looked into the issue of pricing – does organic really mean more expensive and are people willing to spend more?  Do they understand why and do they see the value of organic products?

The Organic Trade Board research showed that nearly 68% of women still say that they would buy organic products more often if the prices were lower, which infers that people are assuming that organic is more expensive without being properly informed.  Consumers may be basing their knowledge about the price of organic on those areas where there is a definite premium and are making the same assumption across the whole spectrum of organic products.

Source: Sainsbury Online, February 2010

As part of its research, the Organic Trade Board looked into the reasons people are buying more organic products:

1. Naturalness/unprocessed 40%

2. Restricted use of pesticides 34%

3. Better taste 30%

4. Better for my wellbeing 28%

5. Better for the planet 25%

6. More care in farming 24%

7. Kind to animals 22%

8. GM free 18%

9. Encourage wildlife 16%

10. Helping climate change 12%

These factors are clearly becoming more important to consumers as the Organic Trade Board research showed over 50% of consumers said that they buy fruit, vegetables and eggs from organic ranges and over 65% buy their organic products at supermarkets where costs are likely to be more competitive.

The Organic Trade Board research also showed that there is an appetite from consumers to buy more organic products with 32% saying they would buy more organic if ranges were available and 25% actually saying that they do want more organic ranges available.

It also seems that current economic conditions have not dampened the market too much with over 50% saying that the credit crunch has not affected their organic shopping habits, indicating that more and more people do think they’re getting value for money when buying organic, or are prepared to prioritise this area of their budget..  An IGD shoppers’ survey in August 2009 revealed that nearly one in five (19%) of all UK shoppers are remaining loyal and a further one in ten (9%) say they will buy more organic food when they have a bit more money to spend.

All of these statistics show that people are buying organic staples and that price is less of an issue in these areas.  However, some organic products are still more expensive simply due to the cost of inputs to production such as feed, and the stringent production and inspection rules the producers are subject to.

Bob Kennard,Managing Director of Graig Producers, the organic livestock marketing group,comments, “For consumers who do not want a wide range of pesticides used routinely in producing their food, who want the animals to be free to roam on pastures, and not be fed routine antibiotics or growth-promoting drugs, they will want to buy organic food, which is a traditional farming system using modern knowledge and techniques to ensure the very best in animal welfare and crop production.

“Because organic farming is less intensive and can have a longer production cycle, organic farmers will often see a reduction in output per acre of their farms compared with their intensive non-organic neighbours. In order to earn a similar profit from their farm as a whole, the organic farmer will generally need to earn more for each tonne of crop or each animal which he produces.”

It seems that there is a positive outlook on the pricing issue around organic and that in some sectors the difference in price will be less marked over time as nitrogen fertilisers increase in price. Meanwhile, consumers need to be encouraged to relook at the price of organics as it can be surprisingly affordable.

The Organic Trade Board has launched a new website www.whyiloveorganic.co.ukaimed at providing clear advice for consumers on the benefits of organic produce.  You can also follow The Organic Trade Board on twitter atwww.twitter.com/whyiloveorganic.

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