Farmers and growers need to take a leaf out of supermarkets’ loyalty cards approach to market intelligence, said David Hughes, professor of food marketing at Imperial College London.
He said this approach would provide most of the information needed to establish the “non-price” elements for which “illogical and irrational” consumers were prepared to pay.
The willingness of the affluent to part with more
money had been confirmed by the growth of organics.
Speaking at the national farm management conference, he added: “If it was all about price we might as well pack up because we are not the lowest cost producer of anything. We need to look at other attributes.” Huges said the average consumer would move closer to the current organic consumer. By 2010, he predicted food ingredient suppliers, like farmers and growers, would scarcely be able to shift their products against those that provided meal solutions.