The latest research from Mintel Food & Drink in October 2019 reveals there has never been so much choice for organic food and drink lovers across the globe. According to Mintel Global New Products Database GNPD, in the last 10 years, the total number of new food and drink product launches globally with an organic claim has risen from 6 percent to 10 percent between August 2009 and July 2019.

Mintel research finds that Europe is leading the way in terms of organic food and drink innovation, with almost a fifth of all food and drink products launched in Europe carrying an organic claim. In the 10 years to July 2019, the number of European food and drink launches with an organic claim has shot up from 9 to 17 percent, satisfying Europe’s hunger for organics. Current leading innovators include France (22 percent of all organic launches in Europe between August 2018 and July 2019), Germany (20 percent) and Spain (9 percent).

North America has also experienced an impressive increase in organic launches: the number of organic food and drink products has grown from 9 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2019 (Aug 2018-July 2019).

While the availability of organic food and drink products in the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa has risen slightly, less than one in twenty (4 percent) food and drink launches between August 2018 and July 2019 carried an organic claim in each of these regions. This is up from 3 percent in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions, and 2 percent in the Middle East and Africa ten years ago.

Speaking at the Anuga show this year, Katya Witham, global food & drink analyst at Mintel, said: “Organic produce has seen growing support among European consumers at a time of increasing concerns for wellbeing, health, and the environment. Our research shows that the European market is spearheading organic food and drink innovation.

“Although organic products have fully entered mainstream channels and continue to gain traction with shoppers, the organic segment still offers innovation opportunities across numerous food and drink categories, especially true in categories where organic claims have previously played a minor role, such as wine.”

Free-from, ethical messages important in European organic sector

Mintel research shows that the share of organic food and drink launches in Europe with “suitable-for” (free-from) claims experienced impressive growth over the past ten years, rising from 20 percent to 43 percent between August 2009 and July 2019. Ethical claims have also witnessed a similar increase during the same time period. While 23 percent of all organic food and drink launches in Europe were positioned as “ethical” and “environmental” ten years ago, this proportion grew to 41 percent in the year to July 2019.

“Organic claims are increasingly becoming part of a wider health and ethical product positioning, hence the popularity of launches with free-from and ethical claims,” Ms. Witham adds.

“Veganism/plant-based is one of the hottest trends in food and drink right now, so it seems natural that organic producers are linking the two. According to our research, almost half of vegan food and drink products launched in the past twelve months were positioned as organic. Given the trend towards veganism, plant-based organic brands are taking their lack of animal-derived ingredients to the next level, highlighting a more holistic approach.”

Millennials, Gen Z most likely to purchase organic food & drinks

Mintel research also finds that among consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland, Millennials (aged 25-34) and Gen Zs (aged 16-24) are the most likely to purchase organic food and drink. Of these five countries, Italian Millennials are most likely (87 percent) to buy organic food and drink, followed by their German (86 percent), Spanish (85 percent) and French (81 percent) counterparts. In Poland, it’s Gen Z that is most interested in organic food and drinks, with 83 percent claiming to buy such products, compared to 80 percent of Polish Millennials.

Younger consumers are also more likely to pay higher prices for organic food and drink, especially true for Spanish Gen Zs: 38 percent say organic products present good value for money, in comparison to 26 percent of all Spaniards. Meanwhile, young Germans are less willing than their Spanish counterparts to pay extra for these products: 27 percent of 16-24-years-olds accept higher prices for organics, compared to 21 percent of the German population as a whole.

“Generation Z has grown up at a time when health and wellness is high profile. For younger generations, the social and environmental impact of consumption is of great importance and this is likely to help fuel future growth of the organic sector,” Ms. Witham says.

“Moreover, the prevalence of foodies among younger consumers creates an opening for more premium organic convenience products that are designed for the food-obsessed who want to eat well on-the-go or prepare upscale healthy food and drink easily and quickly at home.”

Mintel’s Consumer Trends 2030

Seven core drivers of consumer behaviour will shape global markets over the next 10 years, according to Mintel’s editors and experts: Matthew Crabbe, director of Mintel Trends, APAC; Gabrielle Lieberman; director of Mintel Trends and Social Media Research, Americas, and Simon Moriarty; director of Mintel Trends, EMEA.

“This year, we’re taking a bold approach with our predictions about the future of global consumer markets by incorporating seven key factors that drive consumer spending decisions: wellbeing, surroundings, technology, rights, identity, value, and experiences,” Mintel says.

“Grounded by these seven drivers of consumer behavior, and backed by our robust consumer and market data, we layer economic, demographic, technological, political, and sociological (to name a few) data sets to analyze the impact that internal and external environmental change has on consumer motivation and choice, and the behavior that comes from that. From there, we observe and identify crucial connections between developments, patterns, and disruptions in consumer behavior.

“We put this into context to better understand what it means for – and how it could inspire – our clients’ business decisions across industries, categories, demographics, and amid global themes. For full and in-depth insight and analysis of the Mintel trends and seven drivers, please visit www.mintel.com