At Brand Organic we love working with producers who are pushing boundaries within the organic food sector. So what are the major trends in the sector right now? We have picked our top five, and these will be the focus of our weekly blog moving forward. Read on for more.
1. Plant Based
John Parker of The Economist has dubbed 2019 ‘The year of the vegan’, so it comes as no surprise that new and innovative plant-based products continue to hit this ever-growing market. The rise of the ‘McVegan’ and recent launch of vegan nuggets in the UK sums shows even the meat-centric fast-food industry are responding to changing consumer needs, while buyouts and takeovers of plant-based businesses are surfacing with increased frequency.
The market growth is on the verge of becoming exponential and shows no signs of slowing, driven by millennials who appear to understand the negative effect that mass meat productions has on the environment. In the 12 months leading to June 2018, sales of vegan foods in the US rose ten times quicker than that of ordinary food, while in the UK a recent survey by IGD revealed that 68% of 18-24 year olds either follow or are interested in following a plant-based diet.
This all highlights a fact many in the sector have known for a while; that vegan and plant-based diets are no longer a niche market. There is already major investment in this sector - expect more. A lot more.
The Cannabis Trade Association UK has estimated that UK CBD use has doubled in a year, while the global market is expected to be worth $2.1 billion by 2020. The rise in popularity of CBD snacks, supplements and skincare products is cannot be ignored by retailers any longer, especially when large global brands like Coca-Cola admit they are developing CBD-based ‘wellness drinks’. It is most definitely here to stay.
With various countries taking a well-publicised progressive viewpoint on cannabis it would appear that the public are embracing CBD products in ways like never before. With mass educational marketing on potential health benefits of CBD products expected we predict this market to go mainstream before the end of the year.
3. Regenerative Organic
There is no doubting the positive impact organic certification has had on buying habits over the past decades, but in 2019, is it enough? With intensive agricultural methods coming under the media spotlight of late there has been a surge in companies applying for Regenerative Organic Certification (RGC), which not only makes sure that products are organically grown but also that the process is environmentally beneficial.
The goal of RGC? ‘To improve soil health and organic matter over time and sequester more carbon, to improve animal welfare, and to provide economic stability and fairness to farmers, ranchers and workers’ (source: https://regenorganic.org/).
With consumers beginning to take a more holistic view on the foods they are purchasing and in particular their footprint we believe this certification will set the new benchmark in food production standards.
4. Functional Foods
Functional foods are no new thing, however we are beginning to see producers really stray from the confines of tradition in this market, and consumers are responding. Many long-standing health messages have started to become blurred (take a look at the old enemy saturated fat as an example) and with that the health-conscious are looking to products that come with an associated benefit.
Digestive health products will remain a key driver in market growth but look out for functionally innovative niche products gaining traction as they develop mainstream awareness.
5. Plastic Reduction
Biodegradable, commercially compostable packaging; call it what you will. While plastic production continues to rise globally so does the creation of alternatives, and in the west wide-spread imagery of the damage our single-use culture does is providing the shock factor required for change. From casein (milk protein) to grape waste, there are now multiple avenues to explore when it comes to packaging your product sustainably. This market should be pushed by the growth of other sectors as producers search to ensure their product is 100% planet-friendly.
Our blog will offer weekly insight into particular growth markets, starting with a fermented favourite of ours; Kombucha. Follow us on Linkedin for updates or get in touch to discuss how Brand Organic could be growing your natural products in the UK.