Why there is a liking for organic products
With the greater awareness about the health hazards and the intensity of damage chemical products could cause to the body, consumers got a little push towards the organic products. The transformation of adopting organic products started around the 90’s as more and more people became health conscious and product aware. Shyam Arya, Cosmetic Scientist & Chairman, Indus Cosmeceuticals wrote about the industry and the path ahead.
With the coming of a few brands the prices for the products were further driven down to help it fit in the pocket of a few more consumers and that led to an upwards trend for organic products gradually from early 2002.
It was never a hidden fact that the chemicals glutted products we apply on our body harm us in the long run, but the intensity was never known by the consumers until lately. Additionally, the lack of alternatives, their availability in the market and economic viability helped boost their market share too.
The surge in interest for organic products was a boost to an industry where growth has been moderated in recent years as household penetration increases. From 2010 to 2016, the average growth rate of the category was 10 per cent, but settled into mid-single digits since then. Although sales have continued to grow annually, by 2018, organics were struggling to gain market share despite topping $50 billion for the first time.
Factors leading to this growth
The organic industry has come a long way with a drastic change in the consumption of organic products in the last decade. On the consumer side, the infusion of a much-needed boost to product awareness, has helped realise the importance of inculcation of organic products in the consumers’ lives. From food to beauty, consumers have been strongly drawn to organically curated products owing to their health cautious behaviour. The internet, dieticians, dermatologists and various other branches of science with the increased amount of research and study, have played their fair role in bringing about this change. Additionally, a surge in the purchasing power of customers had also added to the chain. It is seen that the millennials are more strongly attached to the use of organic products. Their constant pervasion is also a factor behind their families accepting organic into their lives.
The producers too have become well aware of the exact customers’ usages. The increased research and development in the making of the products, bolstered by the better infrastructure and technology availability has helped the organic industry jump forward a few steps. Variations that are being brought in by the brands, help them cover a larger customer base.
Consumer behaviour towards organic products
The recent hit by Virus has got everyone concentrating on the maintenance of their health. As consumers prioritise their overall wellness during the pandemic, supplement sales are expected to grow 12 per cent. With the pandemic, people have started opting for healthier alternatives wherever available. They have been distancing themselves from the chemical-based, health deteriorating, easily available products. This combined effect helped organic products’ demand pick up. The sales for the products rose more than 20 per cent in the spring of 2020. The pandemic has got people to understand the importance of organic and natural products in their lives. The disease-induced awareness has helped people learn about the basic requirements of their bodies and health. People are looking for natural substitutes to their everyday use commodities. Trend suggests that people are even shifting to vegan products.
Is there any roadblock?
After coming this far the organic industry still faces a few hurdles. But the biggest challenge is the lack of organic resources and land for developing the products. This forces brands to import ingredients. These lead to driving up the price of the product.
Additionally, segregation of genuinely natural brands from those claiming to be one, also called as greenwashing, hampers the growth of the unfeigned product.
Also, consumers have been using chemical-based products for a long time now. The inherient quality of instant results from the chemical products makes people impatient with the preparation and application time of organic products. This impatience is a major roadblock for the organic industry.
How does the future look like?
While the organic market is growing steadily, it is still far from becoming a mass product. Currently, the organic market is also not consumer-driven and only for people who can afford or willing to pay the premium price, which leads to a small percentage of the consumer base. High price mark-ups for organic products than conventional products are also one of the major factors affecting the sale of organic products. While the high price is because of the cost associated with the product like procuring in bulk, the logistic cost involved in the procurement of organic products from certified organic farms and the distribution within the city increases the cost of the product. Hence, the organic industry needs to travel a long road for the development of better infrastructure and technology, to help cover a larger customer base.
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