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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

The Rise of Organics: Time to Jump on the Speeding Bandwagon

Here’s a number you probably thought you’d never see: The global organic food and beverage industry grew to more than $100 billion last year. Forecasts call for the industry to grow at a 12.8 percent annual rate.  The U.S. accounts for almost half of those sales.

This is a bandwagon that has some real speed and momentum and is getting more crowded every year. Companies are responding to consumer demands and churning out more organic products. In turn, there are many more points of sale. 

Once restricted to natural food stores like Whole Foods, organic foods are now regular items on shelves at Walmart, Kroeger and Safeway. Last year, more than 78 percent of shoppers who purchased organics made their buys at chain supermarkets.

Although the stereotype of this shopper leans toward upscale and Caucasian, both the Latino and African-American demographic increased their purchases of organic foods dramatically.  For example, African-American households doubled their purchases of organic foods in the last five years.

In terms of pizza, a recent study by Technomic showed that 34 percent of households are willing to pay more for gourmet ingredients.  In other words, items such as organic toppings, sauces and dough are rising in demand.

Currently, most of these organic ideas come in the form of frozen pizza.  Amy’s Kitchen, for instance, has built a usda organic logosuccessful national company on a multitude of organic pizza offerings.  

Overall, frozen pizza sales soared to $5 billion last year, representing about 10 percent of the $41 billion restaurant pizza business.

Pizzerias are closely watching the trends in the restaurant industry, especially the growth surrounding consumer interest in anything: “vegan”, “local”, “natural”, “Non-GMO”, “gluten-free”, and of course “organic”. 

Consequently the number of restaurants serving organic pizzas is increasing fast.  A short list of rapidly growing organic pizza chains includes NaPizza in San Diego, Pizza Fusion in Denver, Picazzo’s in Tempe, AZ, and Coppa’s in Washington D.C. 

Needless to say this will all lead to even more innovative pizzas, doughs, sauces and meats. Liguria Foods offers all natural, uncured pizza toppings. This is a step toward consumer trends and an important way that foodservice pizza is getting in the game. Like the word itself, the organic food industry is alive and thriving.  Will you be the next to jump on this speeding bandwagon?

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