Actual and potential development of consumer demand on the organic food market in Europe

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Development of demand for organic foods on three European markets (Denmark, Italy and UK) was investigated by means of quantitative analysis of household panel data and qualitative analysis of consumer life stories and shopping patterns. Potential development was investigated by means of scenario analysis
undertaken by experts. Considerable differences between households underlay patterns of increasing aggregate demand at national levels, and fluctuations over time were identified at the household level.
Interest in purchasing organic products on a regular basis and actual changes in shopping practices did not proceed apace. Limited availability has constituted a major barrier to increasing demand among ‘regular’ users. Demand on the part of ‘occasional’ users reflected a wider range of barriers, including lack of interest
in and knowledge about production and processing and lack of trust in stakeholders and certification procedures. A likely scenario for future demand is that of continued stable expansion, dependent upon whether increasing input costs will favour organic production, whether the relative gap between organic
and conventional food prices becomes smaller, whether organic products will be distributed more widely on national markets, and whether support for research and conversion of organic production systems on the part of public authorities is enhanced.
Original languageEnglish
JournalN J A S Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ID: 37388737