Have higher food costs led to a move away from organic foods?

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There’s no getting around the problem – organic foods are often more expensive than other groceries. Granted, organic groceries could get cheaper: they were only 14.7% more expensive than their conventional counterparts in January 2022, compared to a price gap of 22.7% in 2021, per Axios, but that always represents the ongoing cost of choosing organic. Costs are higher partly because the supply of organic options is simply lower, but also because production costs are higher to comply with federal requirements (via the United Nations Food and agriculture).

According to a study published in the journal PlosONE, the reasons why consumers buy organic rather than conventional food products are complex and largely depend on the options available, but often boil down to perceived health and environmental benefits that justify higher costs. That said, there are a lot of things that everyone gets wrong about organic foods that might change your mind.

But now, with money-related stress becoming even more potent than before, according to CNBC, consumers’ interest in paying that premium could be undermined. According to recent analysis by Brightfield Group, which tracks consumer preferences across wellness categories, only 17% of consumers in Q4 2021 said they were willing to buy organic products (via Food Dive) , down 3% from the front quarter. And while that’s not yet a dramatic decline, it could signal major shifts in how food companies respond to issues that matter to consumers.

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