Are organic products cheaper in organic and bulk shops or in supermarkets?

Source: Observatoire des prix vrac et BIO de Consom Action et Biowallonie – March 2023

When we talk about buying organic food in specialist shops , it’s not uncommon to hear that “it’s too expensive” or “it’s more expensive than shopping in supermarkets”.

But is this really the case? Aren’t we, as consumers, victims of the stereotypes held about this type of shops ?

Are organic products more affordable in supermarkets? Are organic and bulk shops  really more expensive?

These are the questions asked by Biowallonie and ConsomAction as part of their new organic price observatory.

For the first time, this observatory has made it possible to objectively measure the price difference between organic products sold in supermarkets and hypermarkets and organic products sold in specialist shops (farm-gate, bulk and organic) in Wallonia and Brussels.

The result?

“Price-competitive and offering a host of positive externalities, specialist shops are more than ever worth a visit!”

The key findings…

  1. A basket of 21 organic products, for the same price

Based on the average shopping basket, the difference is more than minimal. The Observatory’s infographic speaks for itself.

  1. Twice as many Belgian products in specialist shops

The origin of the organic products sold is also very important. Depending on the distribution method, organic, bulk and farm shops offer twice as many products of Belgian origin on their shelves.  And all for the same average price.

     3. Many more 100% unpackaged organic products
Unlike supermarkets, where the majority of organic products are packaged (to differentiate them from conventional products), specialist shops offer a complete range of fruit and vegetables in bulk, without packaging. The same is true for a large proportion of cereals and dry products. As for yoghurts, they are most often available in returnable packaging in specialist shops, and cheese and deli meat are often offered cut to size.

And there are many positive externalities, in addition to the benefits associated with organic food…

“Consuming ORGANIC products also means doing something for the environment and your health.

Organic farming, with its production methods , preserves water quality, animal welfare and biodiversity, among other things.

But  buying from a specialist shop also means supporting local organic farming and Belgian artisanal processing – in short, it means supporting the local economy and improving cooperation between all the players.  In short, it means supporting the local economy and improving cooperation between all the actors.

Today, more than ever, we need to support the organic sector, which is currently experiencing difficulties. It is important to promote the work of these craftsmen, farmers and breeders who are passionate about the environment, concerned about animal welfare and keen to offer consumers quality products that respect the environment

Find out all about the organic and bulk price observatory here:

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