Australia: Organic food trends in times of COVID-19

As Australia has the world’s largest organic-certified area of land, it comes as no surprise that 70 percent of Australians buy some form of organic food, contributing to the nation’s organic industry worth A$2.6 billion (US$1.67 billion).

Half of Australians claim this motivation is based on personal health, being free from pesticides and OGM. The organic trend touches numerous categories from fresh fruit and vegetables as well as meat/poultry all the way to snacking and wine.

Organic accounts for just over 5 percent of total packaged food and beverages in the grocery channel. Even though there is a lot of discussion around organic, it only accounts for a small portion of the market despite being widely spread.  The substantial price differential in most categories might be to blame.

Even though 75 percent of the IRI shopper panellists state that they purchase locally grown over imported goods and over half are trying to purchase environmentally friendly products. Only 21 percent are actually willing to pay more for organic food.

As we find ourselves currently in a period of heightened price sensitivity due to many Australians’ temporary unemployment as a result of Covid-19, it is interesting to turn towards trends, such as organic, that fulfill a need beyond the basics.

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