As we all know, organic food refers to the category of food that is cultivated without the use of harmful substances like fertilizers and pesticides. The organic food industry has been witnessing a major boom in the last few decades and this sudden growth of organic stores in the UAE, particularly online organic stores can be attributed to a variety of reasons. The following section will throw light on some of those.
i. Digital Literacy:With several smart-phone companies and internet connection providers offering their services at affordable rates, we have reached a situation where information on anything and everything can be accessed at our fingertips. Access to various discussions and articles published on the side effects of the use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides has brought about a change in the customer mentality towards these products.
ii. Changing Customer Mindset:While imported organic food items come at a slightly higher price than inorganic food items, customers have started realizing that consumption of organic food helps us prevent the intake of food items sprayed with pesticides; thereby helping us cut down or eliminate unnecessary medical expenses. Moreover, the research reports published by various sources indicate the prevalence of lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, etc. and this is predicted to drive UAE’s organic market till the year 2025.
iii. Disposable Income:One of the main reasons behind the growing demand for organic products in the UAE has been the sizable income of the UAE citizens. As per the data published based on various economic forecasts in the year 2020, improving economic growth, recovering oil prices, the revival of international tourism, and government stimulus measures is expected to support disposable incomes in the UAE, which is expected to grow nominally by 12.4% y-o-y, up from a contraction of -19.6% in 2020.
It has been observed that higher disposable income, coupled with the rise in health awareness has been able to bring about a major shift in the consumer mindset to make organic products a part of their day-to-day lives.
iv. Pandemic:One of the after-effects of the pandemic is that it has made us, especially the younger generation health-conscious. With the pandemic and imposition of lockdowns, people have started paying attention to locally available products, with a special focus on organic products. Keeping this in mind, various organic stores, especially online organic stores have started mushrooming, complying with the covid protocols. The presence of online organic shop has made our lives much easier by allowing us to purchase much-needed organic products in a hassle-free manner.
v. Government Initiatives:Government regulations on organic farming as well as the certification processes implemented by them forms another major reason for the increase in the number of organic stores. The regulations introduced by the UAE government helps in ensuring that fruits and vegetables grown locally, meet international standards. Subsidies and special categories of the fund similar to the one started by the Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Centre (ADFSC) will be highly beneficial to the farmers as this will help them spend a reasonable amount annually to provide all the possible support, especially by allocating funds for modernizing farming techniques.
Thus, we can see that rising digital literacy, the health-conscious mindset of as well as the sizable disposable income of UAE residents has played an instrumental role in creating a supportive environment for organic stores. Government Initiatives, as well as the onset of the pandemic, gave further impetus to the online organic business, resulting in the number of organic stores rising to the present.