Inflation is depressing organic consumption: Germans are increasingly turning their backs on organic products

Inflation depresses organic consumption
Germans are increasingly turning their backs on organic products

The interest of German consumers in ecologically harmless products is generally high. However, with the increased prices, the fun seems to stop. The demand for eco and organic is decreasing significantly. However, there are also increasing doubts about another aspect.

According to a Deloitte survey, less than half of Germans still buy sustainable organic and eco-friendly products. The management consultants wrote in their study that the main reason for the reluctance was the sharp increase in the cost of living. It is based on a representative survey of around 19,000 consumers in 19 countries, including around 1,000 in Germany.

Egbert Wegen, consumer goods and retail expert at Deloitte, said: “Climate change and sustainability are becoming more and more aware of people, and yet the proportion of sustainable product purchases is continually falling.” The proportion of respondents who said they buy sustainable products fell from 59 percent in September 2021 to 45 percent in September 2023.

Some of those surveyed doubt the cost-benefit ratio. 12 percent said they had recently decided against buying sustainable products for quality reasons. And even among those who recently bought sustainably, 18 percent said they had compromised on quality – especially when it came to food, drinks, clothing and shoes.

This should be a warning to manufacturers, said Wegen: “If a higher price is charged for sustainability in times of tight household budgets, expectations of quality are particularly high.” The price is “a decisive factor – for all income groups,” wrote the industry experts. The discounters showed this: “They have recently been able to achieve an increase in sales with organic products and thus escape the general decline in sustainable consumption.”

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