Current inflationary pressures are having an impact on how consumers shop and, as a result, organic meat sales are being affected, interim director of global business development at Bord Bia Noreen Lanigan has said.
"The current economic situation is affecting organic sales and people are questioning if they can afford to buy organic meat protein," she told the Irish Farmers Journal at the Meat Business Women event in Dublin on Thursday.
However, she said that despite current inflationary pressures on consumers, demand is still growing for organic food.
"The long-term perspective is that organic has gone mainstream in the bigger European countries like Germany and France and they're not self-sufficient, so hopefully that'll provide good opportunities for Irish farmers," Lanigan said.
Over the years of promoting Irish food and drink abroad, Lanigan said there has been huge interest from customers for organic.
"We have nearly had to put a dampener on demand because we didn't have the supply. So I think once we have supply, there will hopefully be a demand," she said.
For quarter two of this year, consumers have been trading down to more value cuts when it comes to buying red meat, according to data gathered from Bord Bia's meat shopper insights.
"We're also seeing an increase in meat being bought in discounters. We have some Kantar data in Ireland that is showing that discounters in Ireland are increasing their market share in the meat category," she said.
This wave of the research was conducted in quarter two of this year when "consumers were starting to feel the pinch" around inflation and financial anxiety was starting to creep in, according to Lanigan.
As a result, consumers' purchasing behaviour changed a lot.
"It's not about sales data, it's listening to what consumers are saying they're doing.
"It's an insight into how they [consumers] perceive they're consuming meat, which isn't always the way that they do consume it," she said.