October 15, 2010, 1:11 pm

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 also locally sourced.

58% of UK consumers who avoid purchasing organic foods admit they do so because of perceived high

Second to the issue of cost is a skepticism surrounding the benefits of eating organic as 1 in 4 consumers who don’t buy think it is any better than non-organic food.

Despite issues of cost, 13% of UK consumers say that they only buy organic produce, avoiding all other food products.

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.

The report shows that 71% in this bracket are not buying organic produce on account of cost.

Overall, 42% of consumers say that they would buy 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.”

In order for organic retailers to increase their sales this winter it looks like they’ll have to be willing to lower their prices or offer consumers inviting offers in order to encourage them to covert to organic.


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