Health Conscious Foodies – the Rise of Consumer Demand for Natural and Organic Food

With Australia’s organic industry currently worth $919 million and predictions it could be worth $1.2 billion by 2022*, the consumer demand for natural foods has never been bigger.

Each year hundreds of new products in the health / natural space debut in an attempt not only sate the appetite of hungry, health-conscious foodies, but to capitalise on it.

Got Cash, Will Pay

Consumers are certainly willing to pay a premium for the products they perceive as healthier options. A recent survey from Nielsen revealed that 67% of Australians have indicated they’re willing to pay up to twice as much for a premium product that is organic or contains all natural ingredients. They’re also willing to pay more for products that contain environmentally friendly or sustainable materials.**

As this trend shows no signs of slowing down, it’s up to the foodservice, hospitality and retail industries to respond. The combination of premium food trends and consumers willing to pay for them spells a boon for the food industry. However, it’s important to respond strategically – while consumers seem hungry for everything, they’re remarkably educated about what they’re buying.

But First, Definitions

It’s important that any discussion around organic food is understood through the proper context of what defines a food item as being organic. Organic food is that which has not been grown using, or been made with, man-made fertilisers, pesticides, livestock feed additives, GMOs or growth hormones.

In order for a food to be considered organic, it has to be certified through one of Australia’s six organic certification bodies. An increasing number of consumers are opting to buy products that are certified organic, making it an incredibly important tool for achieving cut through in the market.

Alternatively, natural foods are those which do not contain added colour, artificial flavours, or synthetic substance.

Influencing Consumers

As consumers demand natural and organic food, ripple effects are created through the industry. Food producers and farmers are now changing how they’ve been working for decades in order to meet consumer expectation. Recently at a Queensland Country Life Food Heroes event, Meat & Livestock Australia announced megatrends influencing the beef industry. The biggest trend? Consumers are moving toward ‘green minded’ products that are natural and with less human intervention. As consumers make their preferences clear, the effects are going all the way to the paddock, as farmers change their practices in order to respond to the market.

Natural and Organic at Naturally Good Expo

Naturally Good Expo is the biggest exhibition in Australia dedicated completely to natural and organic food brands. With the market already proving natural and organic food to be a booming – and lucrative – industry the show presents plenty of opportunities for members of the food industry to learn more about it and to see what products they can add to their offering.

Sources:
*http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/news/2017/premium-potential-grocery-categories-pacific-consumers-are-willing-to-spend-more-on.html
**http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2016-10-28/organic-industry-approaches-billion-dollars-as-demand-increases/7973834

 

This article was originally featured on our sister show Fine Food Australia – find out more here