Organic food demand expected to grow global market over 14% annually for next 5 years

organic-veggie-1538668-1600x1200The global organic food market is poised for dramatic growth over the next five years, according to the “Global Organic Food Market – Forecast and Opportunities, 2011-2021” report from Research and Markets.

The global market for organic food is projected to grow at an annual rate of over 14% during 2016-2021, due largely to the high demand for organic food from restaurants, educational institutions as well as retail outlets. Also, lifestyle changes due to health concerns, are another significant impact on organic food demand.

Additional factors contributing to rising demand include the easy availability of organic food products and infrastructural developments in supply chain and distribution network.

Top 5 Future Eating Trends

top 5 future eating trends

PORT WASHINGTON, NY — Consumer market research firm NPD Group has made a few predictions about eating trends over the next five years. Healthy eating comes in at Number 4 on the list with a prediction that the category will overtake sweet snacks by 2018.  Also, fresh end dishes and fresh ingredients play a key role in trends Number 1 and 2.

top 5 future eating trends
Top 5 future eating trends. Source: NPD Group

Organic Cafe Opens in Westchester County, New York

Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen
Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen
Asian Chicken with Baby Bok Choy and Shiitakes
Forbidden Rice. Photo by Skinny Buddha.

SCARSDALE, NY — Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen opened a new sit-down cafe in Scarsdale, NY. Expanding from a simple take-out window in nearby Mount Kisco, New York, the new restaurant seats up to 12 people in a convenient location directly across from the city’s commuter rail.

“We have had much such success with our organic, wholesome food in our current location,” said co-owner Elyce Jacobson. “We know that food and fitness go together. Being that Scarsdale is a fitness-oriented community, we are excited to open our new café.”

The original Organic Kitchen was opened by Skinny Buddha Fitness Center in 2013 in response to personal training clients who wanted prepared organic meals to take home. The menu at both locations consists of organic and local products. And all ingredients are fresh, hormone-free, non-GMO and certified organic; fats are used sparingly and selectively, and all dairy ingredients are made with pasteurized, hormone-free milk, the company says.

Organic Coconut Product Launched

organic coconut oil

organic coconut oil

PORTLAND, OR — The health benefits of organic coconut oil and similar products have been making the news lately and that exposure is driving up demand. Capitalizing on the growing market, Portland, OR-based Trailblazer Foods, a manufacturer of private label and branded grocery items, introduced a line of certified organic products on July 1.

“There is a strong and growing demand in the U.S. for better-for-you foods,” said Rob Miller, CEO of Trailblazer Foods, “and coconut fits in with this trend: it’s a clean ingredient, natural and organic, and with no added sugar. By offering a complete line to our customers, grocers will be able to meet the needs of every type of consumer seeking coconut products, eliminating the reason to shop elsewhere.”

The West Coast company will manufacture a complete line of certified organic coconut products, including oil, virgin oil, milk, light milk, flour, sugar and unsweetened flakes, drawing on its relationship with coconut processors in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

Organic Baby Food Maker Takes On Equity Partner

Sprout organic baby food
Sprout organic baby food
Photo: Sprout Organic Foods

DULUTH, GA — Organic baby food maker Sprout Organic Foods recently sold controlling interest in its firm to Greenwich, CT-based investment firm North Castle Partners, according to published reports.

Alison Minter, North Castle managing director, who was quoted in BakingBusiness.com, pointed to the potential growth opportunities in the organic baby food market as one reason for the investment:

“The organic baby food category is an attractive market with strong underlying fundamentals. Sprout is a strong brand that resonates with retailers and consumers, with a product portfolio that has meaningful competitive differentiation.”

Founded in 2008, Sprout manufactures and distributes organic baby food products created with certified organic ingredients and no preservatives, artificial colors, flavors or other additives, the company says.

Packaged Food Giant Buys Plant-Based Nutrition Product Maker Vega

Vega, vegan, plant-based nutrition
Vega, vegan, plant-based nutrition
Photo: Vega

DENVER, CO — Consumer foods giant WhiteWave Foods Co. has agreed to buy Vega, maker of plant-based natural health and performance nutrition products, for approximately $550 million.

Vega’s plant-based nutrition products complement our plant-based foods and beverages portfolio. With its strong brand, high-quality products, and commitment to innovation and sustainability, Vega is a perfect fit for WhiteWave,” said Gregg Engles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WhiteWave.

The acquisition is part of the company’s strategy to expand certain niche and growing categories like its plant-based nutrition products.

Vega’s plant-based, gluten-free nutrition products – primarily nutritional shakes and bars – contain nutrient-dense, whole food ingredients, the company says.

The deal is expected to close later this year, and Vega’s headquarters will remain in Vancouver.

Nevada Organic Farmers Consider Private Certification Programs

organic-farming

NEVADA — With the Nevada Department of Agriculture board of directors voting to end the state’s organic certification program on June 30, 2016, local organic farmers are reviewing their options.

According to the Nevada Appeal:

On June 16, a gathering of growers, producers and sellers discussed the feasibility of a private certification program and whether it could be up and running before the program officially closes June 30, 2016. State organic certifications, however, will expire in March 2016, and growers and producers will have a three-month grace period before getting certified with a new organization.

Their options are complicated by the fact that there are no private certification firms located in the state, the paper says, and the expense of using out-of-state firms could drive up costs impacting the ability of small farms to remain competitive.

Virtual Nutritionist and Meal Planner Goes Mobile

Eat This Much app, virtual nutritionist, meal planner
Eat This Much app, virtual nutritionist, meal planner
Photo: Eat This Much

LOS ANGELES, CA — Healthy eating not only requires discipline but a little bit of planning. An automated nutrition and meal planning service from Los Angeles-based Eat This Much seeks to make that effort easier, especially for folks on the go, with the launch of its first app for the iPhone.

“There is a huge barrier between knowing how you want to eat and the iterating on the many steps required to accomplish your goals, such as calorie counting, getting the right groceries, and selecting recipes. Eat This Much takes all the hassle and monotony out of reaching your desired health outcomes,” said Louis Dementhon, Eat This Much CEO and Founder.

According to the company, it has over 180,00 users who have created over 13 million custom meal plans.

Founded in 2013, Eat This Much tailors meal plans to any diet, constantly adapting to users’ tastes and budget by accessing 200,000 foods and more than 1,500 curated recipes. Features also included on the app are the ability to track gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian diets, with suggestions for incorporating leftovers and preferred ingredients. The free iOS app can be downloaded from the App Store.

Driscoll’s Expands Organic Strawberry Nursery Plant Production

Driscoll's, organic berries, organic farming, strawberries
Driscoll's, organic berries, organic farming, strawberries
Photo: Driscoll’s

WATSONVILLE, CA — On the heels of news of recent investments in organic farming by companies like Clif Bar & Co. and General Mills, premium berry cooperative Driscoll’s, says it plans to expand production of organic strawberry nursery plants for its independent, USDA certified organic farmers.

“Since our first sales of organic berries in the late 1980’s, we’ve seen tremendous growth in our organic business due to increasing consumer market demand,” said Soren Bjorn, executive vice president.  “We are committed to fully deliver on the spirit of the organic program across all our berries and see this process as a journey to an exciting future.”

According to Driscoll’s, its organic strawberry nursery began seven years ago, and is the only one certified by the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). With nearly 10 percent of organic strawberry production at its Watsonville and Salinas farms coming from certified plants, the company says it plans to expand the program to other berries in the coming years.