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Organic food selling briskly – but still a niche market

Bananas, milk, eggs, meat and baby food are among the best-selling organic foods in Finland.

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About a fifth of eggs bought in Finland are organic. Image: AOP

Organic food sales are growing briskly in Finland, but still only represent a tiny fraction of overall grocery sales, says the Finnish Organic Food Association (Pro Luomu).

From the middle of 2017 to the middle of this year, sales of organic foods totalled 312 million euros, a 13 percent increase from the previous 12-month period.

During the same period, overall grocery sales expanded by about three percent in Finland.

The association bases its estimate of organic sales on figures collected from grocery chains. They indicate that organic food has a market share of 2.3 percent.

The organic market has grown steadily throughout the 2010s. Since 2011 organic sales at retail shops have shot up by some 90 percent, driven by a broadening of the range of items available.

Young buyers cite environment, well-being and animal welfare

Consumers in Finland spend the most money on organic fruit, milk, vegetables, eggs and coffee. The most popular individual products are bananas, low-fat milk, eggs and minced meat.

Organic items have their strongest market shares in vegetable oils and eggs, product groups where they account for about a fifth of sales by value. Organic is also a significant player when it comes to baby food, breakfast flakes and groats, commanding a market share of about 14 percent.

Pro Luomu director Marja-Riitta Kottila stresses the growth potential in organic sales.

“Younger consumers are most particularly interested in organic products, so we expect demand to keep growing. Young people buy organic food for reasons related to the environment, well-being and animal welfare,” says Kottila in a statement.

Pro Luomu is part of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAN), founded in Germany in 1972. The umbrella organisation has members in 117 countries.

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