The Organic Food Movement – A Marketers Dream

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Kellys Vegies is often asked if our produce is ‘organic’. It’s an interesting question and one that we always answer, “No. Our produce is fresher than that!”

The organic food movement seems to have changed substantially, particularly over the last decade. What was originally a health movement aimed at ensuring the supply of high quality and pure food, gradually evolved into a social campaign with political motivations. Social and environmental justice became more important than high quality food it seems, to the point where government intervention through subsidies, programs, incentives and schemes were implemented. This often came at the taxpayers’ expense, and continues to do so.

Never put it past the private sector to take full advantage of the opportunities the organic food mania has presented either. When it comes to organic food, prices tend to be two to three times higher than non-organic alternatives. What this means for the food industry, despite its heavy regulation, is that food companies often exploit loopholes with shady terminology in an effort to exploit the “quality” an organic label builds for a product.

Consumers have grown accustomed to paying higher prices for organic food and readily accept those higher prices in the belief that the food they are buying is of better quality. What we are finding however is that more and more food companies are not selling higher quality food, they are simply changing their production process slightly and using confusing terminology in an effort to brand their products as organic products.

Researchers recently released a comprehensive white paper called Packaging as a Vehicle for Mythologizing the Brand, which highlights the commercial influence specific terms have on the sales volumes of various food products. By simply adding the words “natural” or “organic” to the packaging, higher prices were not only achieved, but sales volumes increased.

Does this mean that all organic food on the shelf is nothing more than a marketing gimmick? Not entirely, but what it does demonstrate is that the unwavering faith the average consumer has in organic products is often unjustified.

At Kellys Vegies we’re committed to good health, healthy living and supporting our local growers.