Retail sales of organic food have surged by as much as 40% around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to industry experts consulted by the organisers of the Biofach exhibition and congress.
They say that the pandemic has advantaged organic because it is grounded in values that have become prioritised by many people during the crisis – respect for the planet and natural resources, high animal welfare standards and personal wellbeing.
German social psychologist Harald Welzer says the pandemic has “opened consumers’ eyes” and allowed them to “make connections between the pandemic and the exploitation of the planet”.
Amarjit Sahota, founder of London-based organic and sustainability industry analyst Ecovia Intelligence, talks of a “coronavirus boost for the global organic industry”. From India to Europe to the USA, he says, the pandemic has brought wholesalers and retailers a surge of up to 40% in demand compare to 2019. Online business has been a standout success, to the extent that Amazon – owner of organic foods giant Whole Foods – has now had to limit online organic food sales in the USA so it can meet the enormous demand.
Lukas Nossol, head of marketing and corporate communications at German organic wholesaler and brand-owner Dennree, says the organic sector had the groundwork in place to take advantage of the levels of consumer demand. “While globalised commodity channels are hard to manage, the organic sector is well networked and more agile. Specialty retailers know who they’re working with, they’re people they can talk to and work out solutions with. So we’re looking with confidence toward the upcoming year 2021.”
The 2021 edition of the Biofach/Vivaness event will take place on 17-19 February as an eSPECIAL all digital event.
Main image: Opening ceremony of the 2018 Biofach event