Consumers choose organic food and drinks for the taste, as well as because they are better for the environment and perceived as safer for consumers, according to University of Otago research conducted on behalf of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ).
“There is strong consumer sentiment for food that is GE free, contains only natural ingredients and is free from antibiotics, hormones and chemicals” said Associate Professor Hugh Campbell, Otago University's Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment centre director.
Hugh Campbell released the results of his survey at the national Organic Sector Conference being held at Lincoln University (August 17-19 20O7)
“While 65% of people choose to buy certified organic food because they understand that organic systems help the environment, most consumers believe that organic food is not only for the ‘greenies’ – a clear indication that organic products are now becoming mainstream”, said OANZ Executive Director, Ken Shirley.
Domestic organic market $210 million a year
This ‘coming of age’ of the organic sector was also reflected by New Zealand’s booming domestic market for organic food and drink, which today’s research has measured at $210 million a year, he said.
“In addition to the environmental benefits from choosing organics, 46% of consumers say that they notice an improved taste in organic food."
Consumers have a strong perception that certified organic food is safer and better for them, and believe that all New Zealanders could benefit from choosing more certified organic products, Mr Shirley said.