Economy

VAT increase boosts sustainable eating expenditure | Financial

This is evident from the Sustainable Food Monitor of Wageningen Economic Research. The main reason that more was spent on sustainable food is the increase in VAT on food from 6% to 9% as of January 1, 2019.

Nevertheless, the economists of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) conclude that consumers are quite willing to pay more for sustainable food. Despite the price increase due to higher VAT, the market share of sustainable in total food expenditure has also increased. That long in 2018 at 12% and last year it was 14%.

Growth was fastest at the supermarket. There, expenditure on sustainable food rose by a fifth. In food service, such as catering, this was 16%.

Sustainable not necessarily organic

Incidentally, sustainability label does not mean that the food is automatically organic. For example, the Beter Leven quality mark from the Animal Protection, which mainly says something about animal welfare, is by far the most popular. The Dutch spent € 2.6 billion on meat with this quality mark last year, an increase of 14%. After Beter Leven, the turnover with an organic label is the largest. This rose by 5% to € 1.6 billion.

Sales of products with the On the Way to PlanetProof label increased sixfold to € 608 million due to the introduction of many new products under this label, which was introduced in 2017. This makes this the largest climber.

The WUR monitor shows that, with the exception of drinks, sales of all sustainable food products increased. Dairy was the fastest grower. In 2018, the Dutch spent € 548 million on sustainable dairy products. Last year this was € 993, an increase of 81%. The increase is mainly due to the upscaling of the On the Way to PlanetProof label.

Common eggs from grace

Conventional eggs without a sustainability label quickly fall out of favor. Where in 2018 31% of the egg turnover was free range, better living or organic, the market share in 2019 was half. Consumers spent € 321 million on sustainable eggs last year, 58% more than the year before.

Sustainable coffee, tea and fish are also very popular with a market share of over 40%. Bread and pastry and potatoes, vegetables and fruit have a relatively small share of sustainable choices at 6% and 8% respectively, but those product groups also showed substantial growth with a turnover increase of more than a fifth.

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