After years of steady growth in supermarkets and specialty stores, the current financial uncertainty is causing people to buy far fewer meat alternatives and organic products, LIT reports.

The popularity of meat substitutes in the Netherlands has exploded in recent years, with sales rising 34% to €141 million in 2020, according to market research institute IRI. Today, sales are down 5%. “And this while prices have come closer together. Last year meat substitutes were still 30% more expensive than fresh meat, game and poultry, now it’s 20%,” said Sjanny van Beekveld , researcher at IRI, at NOS.

Sales of organic products are also down. According to GfK market research, specialty stores, especially health food stores, are experiencing a decline in sales. Their revenue growth during the coronavirus pandemic has come to a halt. “Supermarkets are still barely showing a decline, but it could still happen,” GfK’s Norman Buysse told NOS.

Roosmarijn Saat from the organic supermarket Gimsel in Rotterdam confirmed the drop in turnover. “During the corona crisis, everyone was thinking about their health, about conscious eating. Then we had the wind in our favour. Now people are mainly thinking about their wallets. We really notice that sales are under pressure since this summer,” she added. told the broadcaster. “I think it’s sad. As we all feel the tremendous urgency that our food system needs to change.”

The agricultural organization LTO Nederland reported last week that farmers are already noticing that people are opt for the cheap instead of the durable when buying their food. “Farmers and horticulturists have been saying for years: you can’t go green if you’re in the red. More and more consumers are now also faced with this in supermarkets. Given the energy bill, people are increasingly ignoring the good local product in favor of the cheaper option,” said LTO Chairman Sjaak van der Tak.

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