ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark


Enlarging the market for organic products.W26/P3

Zimmermann, Karin L.; Hack, Mardie D.; Borgstein, Marien H.

Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI-DLO)P.O. Box 29703 2502 LS The Hague

People's concern about the environment and, above all, their personal health, is increasing strongly. However, the demand and therefore the market for organic products is stagnating. This problem of stagnation was the object of this integrated research project about the production, sales and consumption of organic products. The goal of this study was to investigate the medium-term possibilities to enlarge the market for organic products. To gather the required information, we did research on four levels of the organic chain: a quantitative inquiry with consumers and qualitative inquiries with retailers, wholesalers/processors, and growers. These inquiries gave the needed information about the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of this relatively new sector. Dutch consumers can be divided into four segments. Each segment calls for its own approach within the chosen strategy. Based upon the results, we developed a marketing strategy for the sector (and for different branches) to enlarge the market for organic products in theNetherlands. This strategy consists of two strategies: market development and market penetration. The market development strategy is aimed at new distribution channels: supermarkets and speciality shops. It is important for organic products to meet the same requirements as the standard products with regard to appearance, quality and year-round supply of fresh products.
The market penetration strategy aims for specialized shops for organic products (natural food stores). These stores have a low profile. Promotion, year-round availability of fresh organic products, different ranges of organic products, greater efficiency to reduce prices, professional management etc. will attract other consumer segments to those shops.
To maximize the effect of the two strategies it is necessary to take the followingsteps:1. increase consumers' knowledge to motivate them to buy organic products; 2. improve efficiency in the (organic) commercial chain; 3. pursue a more efficient production method and familiarize producers with the marketing possibilities; 4. create a government-based framework within which the organic sector can continue to develop.

Zimmermann K.L. en M.H. Borgstein (1993) Strategeisch marketingplan voor deafzet van biologische levensmiddelen, The Hague, LEI-DLO. Mededeling 481

Baggerman, T. en M.D. Hack (1992) Consumentenonderzoek naar biologischeprodukten The Hague, LEI-DLO en SWOKA. Mededeling 463

Zimmermann K.L (1996) Landbouw Milieu en Economie: Consument enmilieukenmerken voor voeding, The Hague, LEI-DLO. PR 68-93, p 123-134
Dam van Y.K., B.F.G. Kaal M.T.G. Meulenberg en P.A.M. Oude Ophuis;Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen; Midden C.J.H en L.M. Scholten; Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (1995)Consument, Voeding en Milieu The Hague, Nationale Raad voor Landbouwkundig Onderzoek, NRLO-rapport nr.95/7