The Organic (R)evolution

What may seem like a revolution has really been a slow and steady renaissance. Certainly before the 1920s, all agriculture was generally organic.  But then along came modern techniques, chemical pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers leading to the rapid dismissal of organic farming methods for many decades.

A quick fast forward to the ‘be natural’ approach of the 1960s and 1970s, and consumers were suddenly interested in health, nutrition and environmental conservation. But organic foods were still not in the mainstream (think hippies and off-the-beaten-path health food stores) and despite the audience buying, were expensive and exclusionary.  Conversely, most Americans at that time were enjoying inexpensive TV dinners, Hamburger Helper and casseroles made from canned soups.

By the 1990s, organic foods spread to the corners of specialty supermarkets and were the cornerstone of newer food emporiums, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  Unfortunately, organic food costs were nearly double or triple their non-organic counterparts. And aside from the expense, availability was also limited.  Not every neighborhood boasted a Gelson’s or Bristol Farms. Going organic was for the few and the elite.

Today, the organic industry has moved beyond a niche market. Organic products now occupy prime shelf space in the big chain supermarkets, mainstream retailers and are much more accessible and affordable. Food giants like General Mills and Kellogg have entered the organic game and many small organic food companies have grown into large businesses. For example, ‘O – Organics’ just launched a new ad campaign with the main message being “We believe that great tasting organic food should be available to everyone and sold everywhere at a great value.”

In fact, the “booming U.S. organic industry posted new records in 2015, with total organic product sales hitting a new benchmark of $43.3 billion, up a robust 11 percent from the previous year’s record level and far outstripping the overall food market’s growth rate of 3 percent, according to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) 2016 Organic Industry Survey.

So clearly, it’s not just hippies and health food nuts jumping on the organic train. Today, according to the OTA, “It is the face of America. The demographics of the organic consumer are not any different than the demographics of America.”

For retailers, the growing organic market continually increases the potential for more sales. However, it can be hard to lure new customers in and keep them as your customers. Industry trends have shown that to gain more customers, providing consumers with the information they demand is the key. This begins with offering the products consumers want, which can be discovered within 1WorldSync Showcase; and requires transparency of product information in the form of an easily accessible standardized, digital label, such as the 1WorldSync SmartLabel solution.

1WorldSync keeps a pulse on all consumer and market trends so that your business can continue to thrive while maintaining the brand loyalty it has established over the years, whether it began pre- or post-organic renaissance.

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