Natalia Nikonova, a researcher at the St. Petersburg Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ph. D. in Economics, at the First International Conference on Digitalization of Agriculture and Organic Production said that to analyze the potential demand for organic milk and organic dairy products, she prepared a survey in which 100 residents of St. Petersburg participated in 2021, including 76% of women and 24% of men, writes The DairyNews.
‘The relevance of the study is related to the prospects for the development of organic agriculture in Russia, which directly depends on consumer demand for such products,’ the expert stressed. ‘Moreover, according to Rosstat, in Russia, including St. Petersburg, due to a decrease in the standard of living, there is a decrease in the consumption of conventional dairy products.
Therefore, different population groups participated in the survey, including age, education, professional status, number of children and family income level. About 36% of the respondents had no children, 28% had one child, 29% had two children, and only 7% had three or more children.
As the scientist explained, the opinions of the city's residents regarding the availability of environmentally friendly products are reduced to the fact that about 70% of respondents said that the choice of organic dairy products in the food market is not diverse.
An interesting result is demonstrated by the analysis of consumer preferences regarding the quality of food, when 68% of respondents said that it is better to consume less often, but more expensive organic milk. At the same time, only 32% of respondents intend to consume non-organic milk daily.
‘During the survey, we were primarily interested in the frequency of purchase of regular milk and dairy products by respondents,’ said the speaker. ‘About 31% of respondents buy regular milk every day, but only 13% of respondents are ready to buy organic milk. About 29% of respondents purchase traditional dairy products twice a week. However, only 19% intend to buy organic products with such frequency. 12% said that they would not buy organic milk, since the family is large, and the price for it is quite high. Therefore, they prefer regular dairy products, which they consume once a week. Alternatively, the respondents do not know what organic milk is at all and therefore take what is cheaper. In addition, some are either not ready to buy it, or they are not satisfied with the price.
Among the answers to the question: ‘Within what price category do you buy milk?’ the analysis of taste preferences showed that 43% of respondents buy milk from 60 to 80 rubles for 1 kg. More than 25% can afford to buy 1 kg of product in the range of 50-60 rubles. Only 8% can afford to buy milk from 80 rubles and above.
According to the analysis of the responses, it turned out that over the past three years, incomes have changed for more than 60% of respondents: either remained at the same level for 38%, or decreased – for 32% and incomes of only 31% of respondents have increased. In families without children or families with two children, the income for the most part remained at the same level.
‘13% of respondents have an average monthly income below or equal to the minimum wage, while 9% of them have from one to three or more children, which makes it even more difficult for them to buy organic dairy products, and even regular dairy products are not always available for them,’ the expert commented on the research. ‘26% of respondents have an average monthly income of more than 30 thousand rubles, and 19% of them do not have children.’
According to the speaker, the respondents associated the consumption of organic products with the family income and more than 80% of respondents answered in the affirmative that if they had the funds, they would definitely buy such products.
To the question: ‘How will the level of consumption of organic milk change with a decrease in your income ?’ about 64% believe that they will reduce their consumption. And only 36% of them will keep the consumption at the same level.
Distribution of respondents' answers to the question: ‘Will your purchase of organic dairy products depend on the price of them?’ looks like this:
- 35% said that they would buy them even if the price is 50% higher than usual, and if the cost of products becomes lower, they will buy them more actively.
- The respondents confirmed their desire to buy organic milk, but depending on the price and family income,’ the speaker concluded.