Consumers embrace local, organic foods amid pandemic
Published: June 2, 2020
Category: COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
According to Stonyfield Farm chairman Gary Hirshberg, the “silver lining” in the COVID-19 pandemic is that people are learning that “we are what we eat,” which is driving demand for local and organic foods.
In a podcast by FoodNavigator USA, Hirshberg says that as a result of the pandemic more people want locally produced foods and are joining community supported agriculture programs and buying from local farmers and food co-ops.
“People are appreciating what we can grow locally as never before,” Hirshberg said.
Consumers are also buying organic products as a way to improve their health. “Consumers have figured out that if you want to keep your families safe the first thing you do is avoid unnecessary toxins and pesticides. Organic has always been about animal health and soil health and paying farmers a fair price but it’s obviously always been about human health,” he said.
Hirshberg said that sales of Stonyfield Farm’s yogurt products, particularly the 32-ounce products, have “gone absolutely crazy” at major retailers such as Costco, Safeway, Walmart, Whole Foods, and others.
While acknowledging that a recession could cause consumers to cut back on premium priced organic products, Hirshberg thinks the “bubble” of organic consumers has grown during the pandemic because people see organic as a healthier option.
“It (organic sales) may fall back a bit in a recession but again the number one concern of people is taking care of themselves and their families,” he said.
Source: FoodNavigator USA
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