That company ran an online survey in Germany in late August this year, involving 2,500 respondents, a sample that it said was a population-representative quota of persons between 18 and 69 years living in that country.
The respondents were invited to indicate their level of familiarly with at least 40 different quality food labels, one of them being the ‘Ohne GenTechnik’ seal.
The poll showed the general population’s awareness of the non-GMO seal has nearly doubled in the space of a few years, said the German Association of Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG), the group behind the label. In 2016, only 31% of Germans were knowledgeable about the seal, it noted.
VLOG awards licenses for the seal for food and for feed produced according to its 'Ohne GenTechnik' (OG) production and certification standard.
Alexander Hissting, managing director of VLOG, told FeedNavigator the group was not in the least bit surprised at this level of recognition for the OG label from German consumers:
“We are very satisfied with the results. An increase in awareness from 31% to 58% from 2016 until today is quite substantial, it definitely reflects the amount of products being sold with the non-GMO seal over that period of time.”
Ranking the top 20 labels in order of the level of awareness indicated by those polled, the German organic label is the most known, followed by the Fairtrade label, but the non-GMO seal came in seventh overall on the recognition front.
The respondents surveyed also said awareness of a quality label informed their willingness to buy and their readiness to pay more for a product with that seal.
Some 69% of non-GMO products sold in Germany are dairy products, typically milk and yogurts but the cheese category is seeing rapid expansion, he said. Poultry meat comes next with 17% of sales, followed by non-GMO eggs at 10%.
And there are 1,073 feed related companies based in Germany but also in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium, certified against the VLOG standard today, said the VLOG MD. “That can be feed producers, logistic companies or mixers and grinders.”
New market entrant
A fish product, labelled with the OG seal, will be on a German retailer’s shelves in the next few weeks, revealed Hissting.
“In December, we expect the first non-GMO labelled salmon to come on the market in Germany. It is produced in Norway,” he commented, adding that he can disclose no more at this stage about what is a retailer own-brand innovation.
The salmon product, in question, meets the Global GAP non-GMO module, which is deemed equivalent to the VLOG standard, he said.