A YouGov survey, commissioned by Arla, has shown that 38% of consumers in the UAE have purchased more organic produce in the last 12 months compared to the previous year.
The survey also found that 61% of UAE consumers purchase organic foods more than once a month.
Survey participants cited that the leading driver of this trend is health reasons (59%) with 57% of consumers believing organic food to be healthy, more natural (50%) and safer for consumption (47%) when compared to non-organic food due to the belief that production methods are free from pesticides (53%), added hormones (43%) and antibiotics (20%).
In addition to perceiving organic to be healthier, the findings show that 45% of UAE consumers also believe it to taste better. Ethical food choice motives also have a strong influence on consumers' attitudes with 21% of respondents saying that the main reason they buy organic is concern for the environment and 12.5% citing animal welfare.
Arla Foods category director Ann-Camilla Kjaempe said: “The organic food segment is gathering pace in the UAE, bolstered by consumers’ growing interest in health and wellness. Consumers are increasingly looking out for more natural foods, as we have seen from the first few months of launching Arla Organic. The research also indicates that consumers are supportive of animal welfare and environmental concerns and consider these as attractive product attributes that influence their purchasing decisions.”