Organic awareness is growing globally, and in the health-conscious market of the UAE, adoption of an organic diet is accelerating. In fact, organics are the fastest growing food trend in the UAE – and they only look set to continue growing.
According to Statistica, global organic retail sales topped $188 billion in 2021 and will exceed $200 billion by the end of 2022 – while locally organic retail sales are expected to reach more of $50 million in the United Arab Emirates alone by 2025 – with a significant acceleration of 25 percent by then.
A key driver of this growth is the increasingly sophisticated knowledge of health, food and environment among millennial consumers – which continues to expand through a growing wealth of accessible and easily digestible information. . With over 70% of the UAE’s population under the age of 50 – the majority of that being the millennial generation – the UAE market is ripe for an organic revolution.
Consumers are continually being passively and actively educated about organic food, with health-focused and tradition-challenging documentaries, podcasts and studies available at their fingertips. The conversation around lifestyle-related health is a constant buzz on the stoves of mainstream and social media – from Netflix to TikTok.
It all comes down to consumers making more conscious decisions about how they spend their money and what they put into their bodies, while considering the impact of the growth and manufacturing processes of these products on Earth. Unlike their elders loyal to brands and rigid consumption habits – preferring to do (and eat) what they have always done – the young consumer wants to learn and adapt – for the good of his health and that of the planet. .
This increased awareness, coupled with an increased willingness to invest in health, has helped organic foods make their mark. Now is the time for retailers to make it easier for a wider population to access organic food.
This growing demand for organic options in the UAE is already seeing retailers become more accessible and innovative as they fight for custom – with everything from less intimidating language used in marketing materials to more affordable organic products creating points accessible entrances for the bio-curious consumer, and more places to shop.
Very positively, a study showed that 80% of the UAE population have an appetite for organic products. It’s fantastic to see the desire is there, but we know there’s a sticking point around price. Cost is the biggest hurdle for the cross-shopper of conventional supermarkets. But it is certain that the growing demand will allow a steady decline in prices thanks to increased production and competition from retailers. As adoption becomes more widespread, this will increase the need for supply.
We are the first to make organic and natural food more affordable, including introducing a permanent 20% discount on fresh fruit and vegetables and a monthly 20% discount on the whole weekend, which is popular and demonstrates a real consumer need for healthier products. at the right price.
In terms of other food trends impacting organic retail, plant-based foods and meat-like vegan and vegetarian options continue to grow as a category, providing an alternative to produce. of animal origin with high cholesterol content. Increased transparency around production practices will inevitably continue to encourage more consumers to choose organic foods. For example, the high-profile conversation about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their potential toxic effects is causing consumers to ask more questions about food production.
The market for “functional beverages”, i.e. beverages that quickly deliver favorable value to the body, such as reducing inflammation, boosting immunity and nutrition, will continue to grow . This concept has been around for decades – think of previous generations who drank orange juice for a quick boost of vitamin C when they weren’t feeling well.
Amid the science and numbers, I also want to share a reminder that food is something to be enjoyed. When we feel energized by our ingredients, joy and creativity are heightened. The journey of organic food is inspiring, and the history and sentiment behind it is a huge factor in the popularity of organic retail, especially with our millennial consumers. motivated by emotions.
Organic food is here to stay and will continue to grow in market share in the UAE and the rest of the world. I’m proud and excited to continue our mission of providing “organic products for people”, bringing nourishment through the highest quality ingredients at a price everyone can afford.