This equates to nearly two-thirds of high-income Indian households reporting a substantial increase in their organic consumption and purchases registering a 95% hike over the period.
The report questioned around 1,500 lead retailers selling organic and non-organic products. It was carried out across the country, in locations such as Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Patna, Chandigarh and Dehradun.
Mumbai recorded the highest spending pattern on organic foods, with 65%, followed by Delhi NCR (61%), Bangalore (58%), Ahmedabad (55%) and Hyderabad (52%).
"Organic farming was one of the fastest growing industries last year, thanks to higher disposable incomes, rising health consciousness levels which have hiked the demand for organic foods," said Assocham secretary general DS Rawat.
Although organic farming might be on the rise, it is still at a transition phase, resulting in high costs, Rawat added. But as farmers continue with it, the costs are expected to reduce, making India one of the most important producers of organic foods.
This week’s figures come in spite of organic foods being at least one-third more expensive than traditional foods, suggesting that parents are more concerned about their children's health and maintaining a safe diet.
Vegetable buying led the pack of organic segments with 68%, followed by fruits (52%), fruit juices and pulses (51% each), foodgrains (50%) and milk (45%).
Boon for industry
Rawat said this increase in organic consumption will come as a welcome relief for the country’s food industry after regular headlines about poor diet, obesity and diabetes hitting the press in recent months.
The central government is also in the process of promoting organic crops, fruits and vegetables through a range of schemes including the National Horticulture Mission, Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and schemes of the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.