The Movement Towards Natural & Organic Food and Healthy Lifestyles

Sales of Natural and Organic Products Outpace Conventional Food and Beverage as Consumers Get the Message About the Relationship Between Diet and Health
Jun 11, 2019 9:05 AM ET

The Movement Towards Natural & Organic Food and Healthy Lifestyles

by Steven Hoffman, Managing Director, Compass Natural 

Consumer demand for healthier products continues to grow. With concerns ranging from the cost of healthcare to the effects of food and agriculture on climate change, consumers of all ages are opting for natural, organic and functional foods and beverages, nutritional supplements, natural medicines and other eco-friendly products from mission-based companies that share their values and address their concerns.

And, with conventionally grown apples at the top of the Environmental Working Group’s infamous “Dirty Dozen” contaminated fruits and vegetables list (Each conventional apple contains on average 4.4 toxic, synthetic pesticide residues.), people are realizing that it’s the organic apple a day that keeps the doctor away. By choosing organic, regenerative and other healthful and eco-friendly products, people are investing directly in their family’s health, the health of the planet, and the health of family farms and local communities. And it’s translating into sustained business growth in the natural and organic products sector. 

In 2018, sales of natural and organic products increased 6.9 percent to $219 billion, according industry market research leader New Hope Network, while sales of conventional food and beverage products, totaling $634 billion, declined by -0.2 percent. “It’s not news that sales of natural, organic and functional foods and beverages are growing at a far faster pace than conventional food and beverage,” said Carlotta Mast, New Hope’s Senior VP of Content and Insights, in an industry trends seminar presented at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA, in March 2019. (Attracting nearly 90,000 visitors from over 70 countries, Expo West is the world’s largest natural and organic products trade show.) The natural and organic products industry is on track to surpass $250 billion in sales by 2021,” Mast added.

In a real sense, Mast noted, conventionally produced, highly processed food and beverage products with artificial flavors, colors and other ingredients are experiencing negative growth. All the growth today in the food and beverage sector is in natural, organic, nutritional, non-GMO and other clean label products. From a small health food and crunchy, hippy movement of independent natural foods stores and co-ops in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, natural and organic is now leading the way in food and beverage retail and manufacturing innovation – marking a huge shift in the market and in the consumer mindset. 

As a long time leader in natural and organic foods Steve Hoffman has more to say, including about - Categories and Trends Driving Growth in Natural and Organic as well as Where to Invest in this Growing Markeplace, all here -