Organic food over the past few decades has become widely perceived to be healthier, more natural, and better quality than non-organic alternatives.
Organic products are goods that have not been “artificially” altered through man-made fertilizers, pesticides, additives/preservatives, and genetic modification. As a result, organic products grow slower and at lower yields than non-organic varieties. As a result organic products have traditionally been perceived to be high-quality and “pure” because of their higher price points and uniqueness.
But has organic now become “standard”? Is it finally losing its luxurious exclusivity?
The benefits of organic food have become more popular in recent years because of rising consumer concern over the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), environmental degradation, and a general distrust over industrial farming practices.
This is fuelling demand for products that are perceived to help reconnect consumers with nature and promote personal wellbeing. In fact, according to GlobalData’s Q4 2016 global consumer survey (above) 43% of consumers said that they are interested and actively buying products with organic claims.
It seems that organic is beginning to move away from being an expensive, niche, and liberal food fad and into a truly global trend that meets consumers evolving need states. The popularity of organic food, in part driven by its premium price implying higher quality, has paradoxically made it cheaper as economies of scale have helped make these once exclusive products more accessible to everyday consumers.
The increasingly ubiquitous nature of organic food is most startlingly illustrated by Aldi, the German discount supermarket, announcing that it will add more than 60 new organic private label products to its stores in Germany – bringing the total number of organic products to over 300 by the end of the year.
Organic foods’ growing affordability is only a good thing for price conscious consumers that are concerned over “unnatural” products. But as organic becomes a more standard feature; brands will have to think long and hard about what will be the new unique and exclusive claim that will drive consumer consumption in the future.