by Claire West
Cost remains a strong deterrent against the purchase of organic goods for UK consumers, a new report from YouGov SixthSense reveals. In the same report it is shown that a significant number (13%) of UK consumers will only buy organic foods if they are locally sourced.
58% of UK consumers who avoid purchasing organic foods do so because of perceived high prices. Second to the issue of cost for the organic abstainer is a skepticism surrounding the benefits of eating organic: 1 in 4 consumers who don’t buy organic do not think it is any better than non-organic food.
Despite issues of cost, 13% of UK consumers say that they only buy organic produce. These consumers are predominantly; affluent, Londoners, women aged 25 and over, educated, home owners and in one person households.
Commenting on the problem of cost for organic manufacturers, James McCoy, Research Director for YouGov SixthSense said, ‘Suppliers have been working hard to sustain interest in organic foods throughout this period of financial instability; many organic lines are coming down in price, and in some cases are equal to, or cheaper than standard branded products.’
A key demographic for the organic market, women aged 25-39, are markedly cold in their attitude towards organic — 71% in this bracket are not buying organic produce on account of cost. Overall, 42% of consumers say that they would buy more organic if they could afford it, while 1 in 3 consumers depend on special offers in order to take advantage of organic options.
McCoy added, ‘There is a notable level of consumer disdain directed towards organic and those who engage in the organic lifestyle, as 1 in 5 consumers believe that organic products are used as status symbols. For many, organic foods occasion a feeling of insecurity with 14% of consumers saying they feel “guilty” for not buying enough organic products.’