Who mainly consumes Organic Food?
For years, the consumption of organic foods has ceased to be a simple fashion for small groups of consumers committed to the environment. And it is in this area that studies are even carried out to know the social and / or geographical groups that demand organic foods and that have supported the growth in the consumption of organic food.
With the idea of studying the trends, tastes and influence of the Millennium, organic food has found a niche market worldwide. According to the Millennial Marketing site, young people between the ages of 16 and 35 feel that they must be socially responsible consumers; For example, 70% buy less bottled water to reduce environmental impact; they learn more about the products they consume, use applications to obtain more data on processed foods and prefer products in organic packaging.
Another population sector that has been the most assiduous group in the consumption of organic food, is the vegetarian population, who have found in organic products the necessary ingredients for their vegan diet and their corresponding recipes. Many times, due to ignorance, people tend to confuse vegetarian food with organic foods, and although they may be related, it is not always the same.
Organic vs. Organic Food Vegetarian Food
In the case of organic food, it refers more to the process of growing food or raising animals for consumption. According to FAO, these are some of the distinguishing characteristics of organic agriculture:
– It has a low level of pesticide residues, (insecticides, fungicides and chemical-synthetic fertilizers)
– It is cultivated with methods that are favorable to the environment and that respect certain rules, such as, for example, the humane treatment of animals.
– Fair payments are offered to producers, especially in developing countries.
When it is said that a person is vegetarian, you mean that they have voluntarily opted for certain eating habits. Vegans do not eat any product of animal origin (including honey). These are the types of vegetarians that exist:
– Strict vegetarians: exclude all meat and animal by-products from their diet.
– Ovo-lacto-vegetarians: eat dairy products and eggs.
– Fish-vegetarians: they consume fish and shellfish in addition to the food that ovo-lacto-vegetarians eat.
Then, people who eat organic food consume meats and other products of animal origin, but obtained from conscious and natural methods for the environment, the human being and the animals themselves.
However, both concepts tend to complement each other, because many people who choose to eat a diet based on fruits, vegetables, cereals and vegetables, also want the food they eat to be as natural as possible.
Characteristics of organic food consumers in the main consumer countries
In many countries most of the large supermarket chains have introduced an organic line with vegetables, fruits, dairy products and, more recently, meat. Also some chains of restaurants or cafeterias of hospitals or companies, that have joined this demand, and there are those who are merely offering this, a week or optionally organic meals. Even airlines like Swissair offer exclusively organic food.
There are relevant aspects in the market traits in the main consumer countries related to purchasing power and social and family characteristics. For example, according to a survey by the ZMP in Germany, a semi-state market research agency, the average consumer of organic products in that country is over 31 years old and lives in a household with children. This population sector and regular consumers come from social strata with a high level of education and income. Organic products in Germany, like in most countries, are more expensive than conventional products; in the case of vegetables and fruits, between 30% and 50%; in the case of meats and sausages, between 50% and 70%. The survey highlights that respondents indicate that they are consumers of organic foods for health reasons, followed by “their most natural taste” and by “distrust” for the use of agrochemicals.
Surveys conducted in most European countries and in the United States and Canada confirm similar trends, and even reveal that among the most desired products are: eggs (70%), followed by vegetables (46%) and fruits (42%)). Only between 4% and 11% of organic buyers say they buy organic meat. Also, it is noted that the place of supplies, most consumers acquire organic products in supermarkets (45%) and farmer’s fairs (41%), less frequently in specialized stores of organic products (35%) and in grocery stores (24%); most of them make their purchases in three different places and in that order of preference.
In recent years, according to the magazine Biofach / Biopress (www.biopress.de), the demand for processed organic products such as pasta, sauces, granola, ice cubes, sweets and frozen foods in “bio” quality has grown enormously.
Another example of consumption is Canada, where the study of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development of Alberta, prepared in cooperation with “Economic and Competitiveness Information”, the majority of Canadian organic consumers are between 35 and 55 years old, with a strong increase of young consumers under 30 years of age.
In Central America, the only country certified by the European Union to export organic products to its territory is Costa Rica, and as in industrialized countries, regular consumers are of a high academic level, with high average monthly family income.
Organic Food Restaurants The offer of organic food in developed countries and even in developing countries is wider every day. However, all face one of the main challenges: the high price of most foods, and they are right. For example, in the United States in Wegman’s – an establishment that sells healthy food in North America – the purchase of the month is twice as expensive as in a conventional supermarket. Whole Foods – a New York trade specializing in organic products – could have a similar situation, where the cost of food is even higher than in the case of Wegman’s. In Miami there are also options such as Green Gables Cafe, GreenLife Organic Bistro, Plant Food + Wine, Choice Organic Coffee among others. All of them offering from strong plates to hamburgers and organic coffee. In large Latin American cities we also find options. For example in the city of Mexico there are places like: Organic Origins, Delirious Groceries, Frescos by Diego. Argentina also has its restaurants, in what stands out the restaurant Bio only organic and Buenos Aires Verde.