Creative Thailand

Organic food replaces designer bags as the status symbol for the new generation

Growing up in different contexts, it is only natural for newer generations to have perspectives and preferences differing from the generations before them. Gaining a deeper understanding of what is valued among the people of this generation, who happen to be a group with significant buying power, is crucial for businesses.


The young generation lives in the city. They have changing aspirations and lifestyles that differ from those of their parents’ generation. A bachelor’s degree is no longer sufficient, while a master’s has become a must. Trips are planned whenever possible with purposes ranging from relaxation to gaining experience along roads less traveled. Looking around, you will probably know someone who runs marathons and some others who are obsessed with the working out at the gym. Making health-conscious food choices is also the trend.


The lifestyle of this generation revolves around “self-investment.” Experience is bought over assets. The house and car, which provide security and comfort, still hold importance, but the act of owning extravagant items to convey status has significantly decreased. Before, carrying designer bags and wearing designer shoes indicated that you had more than enough to live on. Today, these luxuries have become more widely accessible. The line separating the upper and middle-classes has begun to blur.


This trend is gaining traction among young generations around the world. Elizabeth Currid-Halkett*, a professor of Public Policy, studied the behaviors of the rich and found that they are consuming less and less items of status. They are turning towards more intangible investments, especially in education and health. These instead have become indicators of status, because they are not accessible to everyone. Investing in the intangible actually has a higher cost than designer items that were so popular back then. The cost of education is already high in itself, not to mention the opportunity cost from not being able to work. If you want to stay healthy, many factors come into play, whether it be the gym membership, the money left over from everyday expenses, or the spare time to work out.


This is why organic food has received such a surge in popularity. Eating healthy is showing that you “can” invest in health. Though it is true that taking good care of your health still requires a significant amount of money, organic food is not expensive to the level that it would be out of reach for most people.


Markets selling organic produce have emerged from the changes in consumer behavior, opening doors to farmers and producers to increase the value of their businesses. According to the the World of Organic Agriculture 2017 Report**, the organic food market is showing continuous growth, with the U.S. market being the largest, followed by Germany and France. The total market value worldwide accounts to about 8 billion U.S. dollars.


Looking at Thailand, the organic food market may not be as large as those of the above countries, but there is still great potential for growth in both Thailand and abroad. This consumer trend is not likely to die down any time soon, because in the end, investments in education and health go toward the quality of life and the well-being of future generations. There is therefore a sustainable outlook for agricultural businesses as producers and exporters of quality agricultural products.


When healthy food becomes a fashion, and looking to be a sustainable one, there is currently no food or agricultural market even close in comparison. It combines basic necessities and fashion, and people are willing to fork out more money to buy satisfaction over necessity. The Organic & Natural Expo 2017 that will be held during July 27-30 will be of interest to health-conscious consumers and entrepreneurs that are looking to explore possibilities within this market. The Department of Internal Trade of Thailand is hosting the event and bringing together a large number of producers, traders, and service providers related to organic products at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.







Creative Thailand
Creative Thailand
Creative Thailand
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