Organic Sales Are Still Growing!

The sales of organic fruits and vegetables were estimated to be at $5.5 billion in 2016. According to the Organic Trade Association, this value was up by 5% over the previous years. The organization also noted that more than half of American households bought organic produce in the earlier years and that the millennials are the driving force of the sales, primarily since their purchasing powers have increased.

Millennials as The Driving Force of Organic Sales

Brian Vertrees, director of business development of Naturipe Farms LLC, noted that the sales of organic berries are up in retail stores. In fact, the sale of organic berries is the second-largest in the organic produce industry.

The growth category of organic products has not reached a plateau yet as millennials are demanding more organic products. According to Chris Glynn from Tanimura & Antle Inc., young adults are the primary drivers of the trend. As the new group becomes parents, the need for healthy food becomes their main priority.

The growth of organic produce is also driving the sales of different categories within the produce department as more consumers are not only demanding organic products but are also looking for affordable products with functional benefits. Eating organic is more than a trend and a marketing tool, it has become a way of life for many people particularly those who are looking for ways to eat healthily and sustainably.

The Shift in The Market


Consumers want to buy fresh produce that is grown in safe and sustainable methods. The growth of organic sales is a key indicator that this trend is here to stay. Many food manufacturers and industry players have expanded their line of organic products to increase their market reach.

Organic produce and products are changing the industry. Even farmers have increased their production of organic fruits by getting certified for their next harvest season. For instance, there is an increase in the production in the state of Washington in the past years; seemingly everyone is jumping on the organic bandwagon

The Future of Organics

There are many benefits of consuming organic foods. The sensitivity of consumers towards the food that they eat and how it affects their health is the reason why the organic market is widely embraced by everyone. Although many industry experts have forecasted that the organic industry will plateau, it has not happened yet and will likely not happen anytime soon. As more and more young individuals opt for healthier options more than the cost and convenience, food growers, manufacturers, and even retail stores will continue to meet the demands of the consumers. The trend will always be up as long as the younger demographics continue to buy into a healthy lifestyle.

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NutriFusion Fruit and Vegetable Powders Nutritional Claims FDA

Infographic: Organic vs. Non-GMO – What’s the Difference?

PacMoore recently released an interesting infographic on the differences between organic and non-GMO labels. Most consumers, as well as food brands, struggle to understand what is the difference. The certification and verification process is much different. Check out PacMoore’s infographic to learn more!

organic non-gmo what is difference certification verification

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Packaged Facts Reports Stable Growth in the Natural Food Industry

Modern consumers are no longer driven only by the price and taste of food. With most consumers seeking healthy foods, their shopping behaviors have also changed. Today, American consumers consider safety, experience, social impact, transparency, as well as health and wellness when it comes to purchasing food. This is the reason why organic and natural foods are a growing niche in the food industry.

According to the report titled Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the US (5th edition), most consumers value the transparency and eco-conscious models of how their foods are made. Opting for natural and organic foods fulfill the needs of the customers.

Research Director of Packaged Facts, David Sprinkle, noted that this new behavior of consumers resulted in the rise of the organic and natural foods market. Packaged Facts estimated that the industry would earn $69 billion by the end of this year. This is 11% higher than the sales from last year.

The Industry Shift to Organic And Natural Foods

The growth of the organic and natural products has outpaced the sales of conventional food items. It is forecasted that the growth will be up to 70% from 2016 to 2021. This is the reason why big food manufacturers are shifting towards the natural and organic food niche. They hope to achieve this by overhauling their products or creating a new portfolio in the hopes of attracting consumers who lean towards natural and organic foods.

But what most big companies do not realize is that integrating organic and natural foods to their established brand can be quite challenging. While the market for organic food products is rising, it still has big shoes to fill. Conventional companies might find it difficult to look for clean ingredients because the suppliers are not quite there yet.

Big Food Companies Making Changes

Although there are some challenges present, investing in the natural and organic food niche is worth it. In fact, many big companies have seen stark improvements in sales after jumping into the natural and organic bandwagon.

For instance, Campbell Soup Co. announced to remove all artificial flavors and colors in its products by the end of 2018. Other companies that have plans to remove its artificial colors and flavors include Mondelez, General Mills, Mars Inc., Kraft Heinz, and Hershey Co. On the other hand, companies like WhiteWave Foods have pledged to use only organic ingredients in their products.

The food manufacturing industry has come a long way from using artificial flavors and colors in the past to using only natural ingredients. As consumer behavior continues to lean towards clean ingredients and healthy foods, the other main food manufacturing companies will follow suit–an action that will not only benefit food manufacturers but consumers as well.

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Energy Drink Industry Reached Record Global Sales in 2015

Energy drinks are all the rage these days. People are fascinated with the idea that a drink will give them enough energy for all their daily activities. But how is the energy drink industry faring these days? In the study conducted by research firm, Mintel, it revealed that the number of energy drinks launched in 2015 surpassed the previous highest number recorded in 2008. Between 2010 and 2015, the numbers of energy drinks have grown by 29%. The key country leading the industry is Germany which had the highest share of new energy drinks at 9% launched in 2015.

However, it is not just the new products that are booming. The sales volume of traditional energy drinks rose by 10% globally which is translated to around 8.8 billion liters. The top markets for energy drinks regarding volume sales include U.S. (at 3.3 billion liters), China (at 1.4 billion liters), UK (at 561 million liters), Thailand (at 465 million liters), and Vietnam (at 351 million liters).

The Popularity of Energy Drinks

So why is there such a massive increase in the sales of energy drinks? Mintel’s Global Food and Drink Analyst Alex Beckett noted that while there is a huge controversy surrounding energy drinks, it remains successful because of its promise to deliver a quick energy boost to consumers. And this is something that resonates with consumers all over the world.


Moreover, major brands are devoted to investing in advertising as well as creating high profile initiatives to give energy drinks an exciting image. To make the products more appealing, Mintel noticed that many brands are now introducing organic claims to promote their products for people who are on a clean eating lifestyle.

In fact, 7% of the energy drinks that have been launched in 2015 have an organic claim. This is 3% higher compared to the products launched in 2011.  The products that have been launched with organic claims are 58% greater in Europe than anywhere else in the world with North America (39%) and Latin America (3%) trailing behind.


All-Organic Claims

The study confirmed that 26% of the consumers in the US are more comfortable drinking energy drinks that are made from natural ingredients while those in Europe opt for products that contain natural flavors and colorings. This trend is also observed among Chinese consumers where 40% are motivated to buy products that are made from natural ingredients.

The most important target market for energy drinks is young parents who are very self-conscious of the types of drinks they consume. The Mintel research reveals that these kinds of parents are also responsible for motivating their children to drink energy drinks.

This trend indicates that the energy drink sector is trying its best to appeal to a wider range of audiences. It also implies pressure on the rest of the energy drink manufacturers to formulate a new line of drinks that come with better and healthier ingredients.

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Annie’s Wants Organic To Be Affordable For All Consumers

The rise of organic food is creating waves all over the United States. The news circulating about the dangers of eating foods laced with pesticides and other harmful agricultural chemicals is shifting people towards clean eating. Consumers are seeing the benefits of eating organic products. However, the accessibility of organic foods is mostly exclusive to people who can afford them. In reality, not everyone can afford to buy a pound of strawberries for $15. It is just too much!

Fortunately, there are now organic companies trying to reach out to a broad spectrum of consumers. The all-American favorite food company Annie’s is encouraging people to eat food products made from organic ingredients by launching new healthy and price sensitive products.

Annie’s Leading Revolution in Affordable Organic Foods

A survey conducted by the USDA in April 2016, reveals that only 23% of American consumers can afford to buy organic foods. With the rising cost of organic food, it is no wonder why many people cannot afford to buy organic even though they are now available in most grocery stores.

Poor nutrition is a big problem in the United States. Poor nutrition is often translated to high obesity rates in the country. Having seen this issue progress over the years, Annie’s has vowed to launch at least 30 new products made from certified organic ingredients.  These organic products will be sold in the form of soups, yogurts, cereals, and baking mixes. The acquisition by General Mills has opened doors to supply chains that Annie’s never thought was possible.

John Foraker, Annie’s President, noted that the company has been passionate about making organic foods for decades and this principle not only benefits the farmers and consumers but the planet as a whole. Moreover, the company believes that organic foods should not be restricted to people on high social and economic tiers. The company’s decision to make their foods available to people from all income levels is ground-breaking on its own.

To fortify its new campaign, Annie’s launched an integrated digital campaign which helped the growth of the company. With the launch of the new campaign on August 19 of 2016, it allowed people to find out about the exciting campaign and participate in it by buying the new products.

So what is the implication of Annie’s campaign on the rest of the industry? Perhaps this bold move by the company will push the other primary players of the industry to opt for the wider distribution of organic foods thereby increasing the accessibility of healthy foods to all consumers. Will this happen in the future? We can only hope so.

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Beverage Giant, PepsiCo, Joins The Organic Bandwagon

Food and beverage manufacturers are revamping their products by using organic and natural ingredients. One company that has recently joined the bandwagon is PepsiCo.

PepsiCo is launching a new version of Gatorade that has been certified organic by the USDA. The new product is devoid of any artificial flavoring and coloring. PepsiCo is releasing the new product to adapt to the growing natural food movement in the United States amongst athletes.

This is not the first time the company has changed ingredients found in Gatorade. In the past, it has removed some ingredients like brominated vegetable oil (BVO) after the company has been criticized online for using a questionable ingredient. However, this time, PepsiCo will launch organic Gatorade as a new product line with a higher price than traditional Gatorade.

Beverage Companies Like PepsiCo Must Give Consumers the Option

Gatorade controls 70% of the sports drink market, but it faces pressure from newcomers like coconut water which is favored by many people. Moreover, the organic food industry has increased its sales to $43.3 billion in 2015 which is equal to 11% of the total consumer food and beverages sales.

It took the company two years of research before it could launch the new line of products. Today, the company released different flavors of organic Gatorade such as lemon, mixed berry, and strawberry in Kroger for the initial beverage launch. Gatorade’s senior vice president Brett O’ Brien noted that the company aims to expand the distribution of the product to many natural convenience stores as well as select groceries.

Ordinary consumers are not the only ones who prefer to drink organic beverages. Athletes, who are the biggest consumers of Gatorade, want to go organic. According to the survey conducted by Gatorade, 12% of athletes show interest in buying organic products.

Revamping Gatorade to an all-natural product means that the company had to shed all artificial ingredients and refine its manufacturing practices. One of the major concerns from consumers is a change in taste because of the significant changes in ingredients.  PepsiCo assures its current customers that the taste will remain the same without sacrificing the nutritional value.

This bold move is not only observed in PepsiCo. Other companies have also shifted and joined the natural movement. For instance, General Mills has stopped using artificial ingredients in some of its cereal products while Kraft Heinz Co. released an organic version of its fruit juices.

While the product is sold at $0.50 more than the non-organic equivalent, the company is still confident that people will patronize the product because of its organic claim. After all, many consumers are now after organic products, and this is what the new Gatorade is all about.

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Half of Cropland Acres in the U.S. Were Devoted to GMO Crops in 2012

Farmers in the United States have been using genetically engineered organisms or GMO crops since 1996. These plants are modified so that they can resist pest and tolerate harmful pesticides. Genetically modified seed companies were so successful that 90% of the corn, cotton, soybean, sugar beets and canola are GMO crops. While crops like squash, papaya, and alfalfa are now being cultivated using genetically engineered (GE) varieties.  If you go to the countryside and admire acres of farmlands, you might just be surprised how many farms are planting GMO crops.

Acres of Lands Planted with GMO and Non-GMO Crops

According to USDA, there are about 182 million (of the 380 million) acres of agricultural land in the United States that have been planted with GMO crops of which 90% is planted with soybeans and corn while the rest with beets and cotton. Only 0.6% and 0.3% of said agricultural land were planted with genetically engineered varieties of vegetables and fruits.

On the other hand, there are only 5.4 million acres of farmlands that are certified organic farming systems. Only half of the organic system is used as a cropland because the rest is used for pasture. Out of it, only 0.3% is planted with non-GM corn and 0.2% with soybeans.  A large percentage of the cropland is planted with organic carrots, lettuce, squash and other vegetables.


Market Value of Non-GMO Crops

The USDA reported that organic corn and soy fetched higher prices than its GMO counterparts. While conventional farming resulted in more production, the consumers have shifted to patronizing organic products. In fact, most GE crops are now used to create processed foods and other food ingredients like breakfast cereals, corn chips, corn syrup, corn oil, soybean oil, and canola oil.

The non-GMO crops, on the other hand, continue to expand and co-exist with conventional crops as more and more people are looking for organically-grown foods and produce. This is the reason why many organic retailers are looking for additional assurance when it comes to labeling and differentiating their organic foods from the GMO crops. This is also to ensure that they get price premiums associated with organic cultivation.


Problems with GMO and Non-GMO Co-Existence

While it can be inferred that both GMO and organic crops can co-exist, there are still some problems related to its co-existence. The most common problem is how to maintain the integrity of the non-GM crops. Accidental pollination or co-mingling of the two types of plants is bound to happen which can result in a price drop of the premium organic food.

As a matter of fact, organic farmers from Nebraska, Oklahoma and Illinois have reported economic losses due to co-mingling of pollen. Unfortunately, this phenomenon has resulted in lower yields due to incompatibility. There are solutions implemented by the local organic farmers.  Practices such as the use of buffer strips can help protect the non-GM crops. Moreover, planting organic corn two to four weeks later than the conventional GMO crops can also prevent cross pollination.

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The Organic & Natural Health Association Scrap Natural Certification

Recently, the Organic and Natural Health Association held its first ever national conference. Among those that attended included thirty-five leaders in the industry of natural products. The CEO of the Association, Karen Howard, as well as former Senator Mark Pryor led the conference discussions on a new certification in the food industry.


The CEO set the tone of the conference by announcing the board’s conclusion after they had assessed the definition of “Natural.” The board’s decision is not what most of the industry would have liked to hear. It was concluded that the term “natural” could not and should not be used as a form of natural certification seal. More so, it should not be used on the product labels or even listed there. For most consumers, “natural” labeled products may soon be a thing of the past. However, the board did say that the term “natural” could be used in the description of particular attributes of the product in materials that are used for marketing and promotion.

Organic vs. Natural is Confusing Consumers


According to the research, it was assessed that the term “organic” and the term “natural” are quite confusing to the consumers. When the user is faced with a natural product, they would expect that it was automatically organic, and this is not the case. In the meeting, it was also noted that the consumer has a problem differentiating both of the products. It was this research among other factors that led to the conclusion that the board would not be considering a new “natural” certification seal. The primary reason was not to confuse consumers.

The director reiterated the necessity of increasing focus and encouraging people to go organic. For this, the institution would focus all their energy and resources to strengthen that program and the existing organic certification seal. The first order of business for this would be to support  Organic 3.0. The movement is being led by IFOAN Organics International. The intention is to have leading innovations that are geared towards providing people with sustainable agriculture and healthy products.

Since the public is more reliant on the labels that identify foods as natural, the CEO said that they would also try to make information more accessible to the public on how to identify foods that are organic.

At the same meeting, Howard announced the launch of the “Power of D” campaign which is a year-long outreach campaign that will focus on the benefits of Vitamin D. For this; they will also have an advisory board that helps to tear into the research backing the benefits of the vitamin.

At the close of the conference, the former US senator Mr. Pryor gave his two cents on how to reach out to the office of the attorney general regarding the adverse climate of the supplement industry. He went at length on how the office of the attorney general could help in the practice and how the interaction between the members of the attorney general’s offices and those of the Organic and Health Association would be beneficial.

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