ECONOMY

Organic product market mushrooming

Organic products are bucking the negative trend in the food and drink sector of the Greek market as they show a 20 percent annual growth in turnover, according to the industry. Sales are estimated at around 40 million euros per annum and the market is expecting this figure to double within the next few years. Despite the negative economic conjuncture, an increasing number of consumers are becoming more demanding when it comes to food, seeking higher quality and healthier options. As a result, there has been a trend toward rationalizing their purchases to include a number of organic products too. According to food company officials, given the present financial conditions, there is a tendency for consumers to push their preferences to the extreme, opting for products that are either very cheap or very expensive. «So all products in the middle ground will gradually face ever greater problems,» they argue. Organized retailing efforts have bolstered the image of organic products, with supermarket chains expanding their range of such goods on offer on their shelves. The ICAP research company found that some 45 percent of all retail sales of organic products are made through supermarket chains. Organic fruit and vegetables account for 50 percent of all organic turnover. Specialized stores account for half of all sales, with the rest shared by open-air markets and other outlets.