Ontwikkelingen rond gg-voedsel in de Nederlandse winkelschappen = marketing patterns of genetically modified food in Dutch grocery stores

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


The Russian invasion of Ukraine created severe uncertainties for global food markets. One of the major effects of these uncertainties were steep world market price increases in early 2022. In such an environment, supermarkets might be incentivized to increase the share of food contained genetically modified (GM) ingredients as production costs of the underlying agricultural raw products or commodities are lower than for conventionally produced crops. Hence, this research project collected data on marketing patterns of retail food products containing genetically modified ingredients from a comprehensive and regionally representative sample of 20 supermarkets in The Netherlands. These retail stores have been surveyed five times from November 2022 to July 2023 in order to obtain a nationally representative picture on the structure and the changes in the incidences of genetically modified food products offered in grocery stores to retail customers.
The analysis finds that global agricultural raw product prices have been showing a stable downward trend since the establishment of the Black Sea Grain Deal in July 2022. At the same time, food price inflation within the Netherlands has accelerated and has been showing a stable upward trend. Neither the continuous downward trend of global agricultural prices nor the continuous upward trend of national food retail price inflation led to substantial changes in the incidences of food GM products offered by Dutch supermarkets.
Food retail commodities containing genetically modified ingredients are found to play a marginal role in the product portfolios of Dutch supermarkets and marginally varied between November 2022 and July 2023. For four of the six product categories (i.e. flours, mayonnaises, margarines and corn & soy) no food products with genetically modified ingredients have been found. For baking oils & vegetable fats the share is stable and below 1% of all products marketed in this category. Only for sweets, biscuits & chips this share gets close to 1% and showed minor variations in the short run during the analysis period.
At retail level, food which is labelled to contain genetically modified ingredients appears to be a non-issue from supermarket perspective. Supermarket leaderships report that they barely receive any customer questions about this type of food and that it barely plays any role in their daily activities, suggesting that for customers it is a non-issue as well. The analysis reveals two groups of supermarkets those whose leadership are sure that they are GM-free and those who are largely unaware of whether GM food belongs to the product portfolio of their store.
Original languageDutch
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen University
Number of pages62
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameResearch report / Commissie Genetische Modificatie (COGEM)

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