Can inflation get the better of organic?

Noa Moussa, edited by Laura Laplaud

If there was a big craze for organic during the Covid-19, in the face of galloping inflation, the French no longer necessarily go for these products when they do their shopping. Rising prices are forcing households to switch to other products or to find alternatives.

The organic sector is in difficulty. After a real craze during confinement, due to the desire of the French to consume better and locally, galloping inflation and a purchasing power at half mast seems to have been right. The organic market suffers a loss of turnover of nearly 4% between 2021 and 2022, according to the firm IRI, and even drops by 6% in mass distribution. The rise in prices therefore has a direct link with the drop in sales of organic products.

The French ignore certain products

At the time of arbitration, the French are increasingly ignoring organic when they do their shopping. This is the case of Marie-France, 57, who has reviewed some of her eating habits. “I made sure to buy organic cakes and saw the increase, I decided to make them myself. I take ingredients that are organic. In terms of price, it’s about the same as a package of cakes but at least I make a lot more”, she assures.

“There is a food deconsumption in general”

Organic cakes are not the only ones to be neglected by consumers. Many other products bear the brunt of the price increase as explained at the microphone of Europe 1 Laure Verdeau, director of the Agence BIO. “There is a deconsumption of food in general and organic in particular. It affects milk, fruits and vegetables and of course meat, especially pork since first price private label hams can start at 15-20 euros per kilo in non-organic. In organic, it’s more around 40-50 euros per kilo.”

Sector professionals are trying to stabilize prices and lower sales while waiting for better days. Their hope: a resumption of organic in 2024.