Get inspired: New EU campaign to stimulate organic purchasing behavior in supermarkets

Organic umbrella organisations in Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, and Belgium are joining forces to stimulate the sales of organic products. On 1 February,  IFOAM Organics Europe members from these countries will start a project through the EU’s promotion policies. The project includes a consumer campaign with the aim to learn from each other and increase impact on organic growth. Sales of organic products will be stimulated by using ‘nudges’, subtle adjustments in the supermarket, to influence consumer behavior. Much needed, due to the action plan of the European Commission to dedicate at least 25% of agricultural land to organic production by 2030. Next to increasing awareness and trust in the European organic certificate, the campaign aims to achieve a higher market share in all four countries.

Most European countries encounter the same issue: a relatively small group of consumers seems responsible for the largest part of the sale of organic products. In addition, the price remains the biggest barrier to buy organic, as organic is perceived as expensive. As research shows, even though most consumers say they want to buy organic, they often don’t. Thus, we can speak of an intention behavior gap.

By applying ‘nudges’ in and around the supermarket the customer is subconsciously being helped in his choice, at the time and place of purchase. Previous pilots have already shown that by only changing small things on the shelf or in the supermarket, this can already make a huge difference in the sales of organic products. In addition to the nudging campaign in the supermarkets, this project is aimed at increasing the awareness of and trust in the EU-organic label, also an important driver in the purchasing behaviour of organic products. Stimulating the consumption of organic products is urgently needed, given the ambition of the European Commission to dedicate a quarter of the European agricultural area to organic farming by 2030. For this reason, the EU Commission has made a subsidy available to stimulate local organic markets through a campaign for the duration of three years.

By working together, the four countries aim to increase the impact of campaign and growth of organic products. By taking up this challenge together, the countries expect to increase the impact of the campaign and to gain more insights and knowledge, than doing so on their own. By granting the subsidy, the countries feel supported by the European commission in choosing this joined approach.

[End. This is a slightly edited version of a press release issued by our members.]

About promotion policies
Promotion policies are key for the organic European movement and sector and helping to achieve the EU Farm to Fork Strategy & EU Green Deal’s goals.

The European Commission presented its 2022 promotion policies in January, aiming to open new markets and opportunities for organic in the agri-food sector. You can read more about eligibility criteria, procedures and funds on the dedicated website.

IFOAM Organics Europe members can access to the following useful tools on our member extranet:

Contact [email protected] for access rights (issues). For information about what you can gain from being a member, read our membership page and contact [email protected].

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