The French continue to reduce their purchases of organic products. After the sudden slowdown experienced at the end of 2021 and the sharp slowdown recorded in 2022, the downward trend has continued since the beginning of 2023. Between January and July, sales of food produced without chemical fertilizers or synthetic pesticides plummeted by 13%. massive distribution volume, according to the Circana institute. A drop limited to 2% in value. It is not surprising that this market is suffering from the consumer decisions of the French, faced with unprecedented inflation.
Since the rise in food prices on supermarket shelves – an increase that hit a two-year high of 20% this summer – customers have been trying to limit the size of their bills. The reduction in scale is evident. While private label and low-priced products are eating up market share, those bearing the white leaf label on a green background are less popular. Result: in 2022, the proportion of organic foods in the French diet fell from 6.4% to 6% and the decline continues.
However, the search for the lowest price is not the only reason. « Inflation has good support”, reacts Laure Verdeau, director of the Bio Agency, a public structure in charge of leading the organic ecosystem. Evoking “the rich classes that have the means and have moved away from the organic”highlights deeper reasons, namely that« “Distrust and ignorance have taken over the minds of consumers.”.
” It is urgent “
“We are suffering cruelly from this long-lasting inflation. It has a strong psychological impact. People are rejecting organic products due to their long-standing reputation for high prices. “Some producers no longer show the logo so as not to scare away customers.”, emphasizes Philippe Camburet, president of the National Federation of Organic Agriculture. The reputation of high prices and competition from labels that are much less competitive from an ecological point of view, such as those misnamed high environmental value or pesticide-free, without forgetting the promises of local or French origin, have blurred the consumer benchmarks. .
All actors in the sector agree on the need to communicate. “We need a citizen information campaign. We need to explain again the benefits of eating organic, for your health, for the environment, to have more biodiversity and less green algae.”, says Mr. Camburet. In 2022, the State had allocated a budget of 500,000 euros to the Bioréflex advertising campaign, supported by Agence Bio.
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