Two-thirds of UAE consumers buy organic food more than once a month: YouGov survey
Additionally, 38% of consumers said they purchased more organic food in the past 12 months compared to the previous year.
1,000 people responded to the online survey conducted in February. The results were unveiled last week (September 19), a few days before the International Day for Organic Agriculture (September 22).
Fruits and vegetables (69%) made up the bulk of the organic food market in the UAE. Next come eggs (49%), dairy products (40%), fish (36%), poultry (33%), red meat (29%), cereals and bakery (30%).
Commenting on the results, Ann-Camilla Kjaempe, Category Manager at Arla Foods, said: “The organic food segment is accelerating in the UAE, supported by growing consumer interest in health and wellness.”
“Consumers are increasingly looking for more natural foods, as we have seen in the first months of Arla Organic’s launch. »
“While the popularity of organic foods began with fruits and vegetables, we are now seeing consumers exploring categories such as organic dairy, meat and groceries.”
The findings also echoed an analysis conducted by Mintel earlier this year. For example, the retail space dedicated to selling organic food in the UAE has grown by 60% over the past four years.
Our recent report also showed that to meet the demand for organic food, e-commerce sites selling organic food have sprung up in the UAE.
An example is Organic&Real.com, which specializes in selling certified organic, natural, vegan, gluten-free, and gluten-free food products. Nearly 2,000 products have been available for sale on the site for a month.
Some of its most popular products include baby food, fruits and vegetables, honey and dates.
Why go organic?
Health is the main reason for most consumers. 59% said they ate organic food for health reasons, while 45% thought organic food tasted better.
57% of consumers think organic foods are healthy, while 50% think they are more natural and 47% say they are safer to eat than non-organic foods.
They also believe that organic food production is free of pesticides (53%), added hormones (43%) and antibiotics (20%).
A handful of respondents also said they consume organic food for ethical reasons.
For example, 21% chose organic products out of concern for the environment; while 12.5% cited animal welfare as the reason.
“Research indicates that consumers support animal welfare and environmental concerns and view them as attractive attributes that influence their purchasing decisions,”Kjaempe said.
However, a significant number of respondents also doubted the benefits of organic food, with nearly one in four (24%) saying they did not think there were any additional benefits to it.
The price remains an obstacle
The survey revealed that 17% of respondents had never purchased organic food.
49% said price is the biggest barrier to spending on organic food.
On the other hand, 46% of them declare that they are not in the habit of buying organic food.