The development of the European market for organic products: insights from a Delphi study

Susanne Padel, Peter Midmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose – The purpose of the paper is present experiences using a well-established forecasting tool, the Delphi method, to explore the dynamics of, and prospects for the development of the market for organic food in Europe. Delphi, developed by the Rand co-operation to improve military technology forecasting, uses expert feedback to refine an informed perspective on complex or uncertain issues.

Design/methodology/approach – This study used experts of the organic food market in 18 countries to explore factors influencing the development of the organic market, future market prospects, and the role of governments in future market development.

Findings – The results show that short supply chains and focus on regional organic shops may be an indication of an earlier stage of market development, likely to be followed by integration into mainstream outlets and involvement of multiple retailers.

Research limitations/implications – While more research would clearly be required, it is concluded that the mutual but mismatched interdependence of demand and supply acts as a constraint to the overall development. Policy intervention should not only take the specific local conditions, but also the stage of market development into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-647
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • delphi method
  • Europe
  • marketing strategy
  • organic foods


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