Organic wine is currently in the news and there would seem to be a gradual trend in favour of it. However, to be sure of the facts, here are some figures.
The organic wine business is booming
As one might imagine, the organic wine business is doing well. A look at the figures shows that consumption in France is increasing, with growth of 17.2% in the period 2014 – 2015, and a turnover of 670 million euros. French organic wine is doing well too: exports rose by 26% during the same period and wine leads the way in organic product exports, representing two-thirds of overseas sales.
The domestic market is somewhat unique: the main channel is direct sales. Supermarkets are generally the leading sales channel for traditional wines but this channel only represents 17% of organic wine sales. Fans of organic wine apparently prefer to maintain closer, more personal relationships with the growers themselves. Let’s take a look at what drives consumers of organic products.
Expectations of organic product consumers
What is it that drives consumers to prefer organic products (including wine), even if they often come at a higher price? According to a study carried out by the Agence BIO / CSA 2015 which examined the profile of organic product consumers, there are a number of different reasons.
The most important reason is health-related: 82% of those respondents make this kind of purchase in order to protect their health and that of their children, while 59% are militants (for which we are grateful) and wish to support organic agriculture. It is true that in France there is a growing awareness around eco-friendliness, and quality also plays a role, as 55% simply prefer organic products.
At European level, an IPSOS study analysed consumer trends in four countries, namely the UK, Germany, Sweden and France. Results showed that European consumers are interested in organic products in terms of tracability: buyers of organic products are also locavores and tend to prefer products from their own country. However, wine is also linked to its terroir and unlike (say) an apple, it will not have the same organoleptic properties if it is made in Bordeaux or in the canton of Geneva.
The study also shows that organic wine is mainly considered to be better for the environment compared to conventional wine, a view which is probably linked to the fact that pesticides are not used in the former.
In conclusion, the growth illustrated by these figures certainly suggests that organic farming has a bright future ahead.