Certifications seduce consumers, food companies
KANSAS CITY, MO. — The US Department of Agriculture’s organic seal remains prominent on many product labels, and increasingly it is gaining ground. Other sustainable certifications and promotions are emerging, gaining sales and becoming familiar to more consumers.
The “little butterfly”, which signifies the certification of the non-GMO project, floats on products all over the world. More and more consumers are interested in regenerative agriculture and Upcycled Certified has had a successful first year.
U.S. organic food sales reached $57.5 billion in 2021, up 2% from 2020 and from about $28 billion in 2012, according to a survey released in June by the ‘Organic Trade Association, Washington. Grand View Research, Inc., San Francisco, forecasts the global organic food and beverage market to reach $564.22 billion by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate of 13% from 2022 to 2030.
The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash., surveyed more than 2,800 American adults in February and found that 83% said they used organic products at least occasionally and 34% said they used them weekly or more often. The survey also looked at other issues. When asked about hydroponics, 73% said they were already using it, very interested or somewhat interested. The other percentages were 67% for Certified Transitional Organic Agriculture and 67% for Regenerative Agriculture, which focuses on issues such as soil health.
This year’s International Food Information Council (IFIC) Food and Health Survey, released in May, found that 39% of respondents said they regularly buy products labeled as natural, which led to 27% clean ingredients, 25% free of antibiotics, no added hormones or steroids 25%, 25% locally sourced, 25% organic, 23% non-GMO, made with plants at 15%, fair wage or fair trade at 14%, low carbon/carbon neutral at 13% and bio-engineered/containing bio-engineered ingredients at 7%.
A U.S. trend index from Frito-Lay, a PepsiCo Inc. company, released on June 29 revealed interest in sustainability issues among consumers who snack daily. Top values driving purchasing decisions included snack companies’ attention to sustainability practices at 77%, attention to community impact around food access at 78%, and treating employees at 87%. The survey of 2,200 American adults was conducted online May 26-27.
“Consumers today are looking for more information about their food and beverages than ever before, and product packaging that includes how ingredients are produced and obtained grabs shoppers’ attention,” said Michelle French. , director of global sustainability programs for ADM, based in Chicago.
She pointed to Nielsen data showing that 73% of global consumers said they felt more positive about companies that are transparent about where and how products were made, raised or grown. .
“With this, food and beverage manufacturers are looking for more benchmarks for farming and sourcing practices that they can share with consumers,” French said. “This demand is particularly heightened around ingredients derived from natural sources such as plants, fruits, vegetables or plants, due to consumers’ desire to have ingredients closer to nature and to buy their values.
“We help our customers achieve these goals through our ambitious sustainability programs, including responsible sourcing and regenerative agriculture programs. In particular, we work with producers to identify and implement practices that can reduce environmental impact, sequester carbon in the soil, and improve the economy and working conditions on the farm.