Predictions for Sustainable Foods in 2017

With some uncertainty about sustainability in the year ahead, Ecovia Intelligence (Organic Monitor)  is giving its predictions for sustainable foods in 2017…

Organic foods – global sales of organic foods are expected to continue the positive trajectory, with most growth envisaged in North America and Northern Europe. Organic food sales in the US and Canada are predicted to surpass US $50 billion for the first time this year. The market share of organic foods is also expected to approach 7-10 percent in the US, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and neighbouring countries. With growth in organic farmland slowing, supply shortfalls are expected.

Eco-labelled foods – Fairtrade will retain its position as the second largest eco-label for food products, however fragmentation will continue: more fair trade labels and standards are envisaged. As will be shown in 2017 editions of the Sustainable Foods Summit, other eco-labels are gaining traction in specific product categories; for instance, Rainforest Alliance for agricultural commodities, and Marine Stewardship Council for seafood.

Sustainable sourcing – the market share of sustainable sourced ingredients is expected to rise. Roughly 20 percent of all coffee is now produced according to some sustainability scheme. The share of sustainable sourced tea, cocoa, vanilla and sugar is expected to increase as large companies – such as Barry Callebaut and Givaudan – make ethical commitments.

Sustainability metrics – metrics are likely to become prominent in the sustainability programmes of food and ingredient companies. Whilst carbon and water footprints are still the most popular metrics, expect to see more metrics for energy, resource usage, waste, and social parameters. More natural & organic food companies are envisaged to make carbon neutral and zero waste pledges.

Food authenticity & traceability – Greater investment is envisaged in ingredient supply chains to provide transparency and to reduce risks of food fraud and adulteration. Non-GMO labelling schemes are expected to continue to gain popularity in North America, although the GM labelling bill has been passed. Retail sales of Non-GMO Project Verified food sales are predicted to exceed $20 billion in 2017.

Waste impacts – as food waste rises on the sustainability agenda, more food companies and retailers will make waste reduction pledges. Food byproducts will get greater recognition as a raw material and become a source of new products. ReGrained (USA) is an example of a sustainable food enterprise innovating using such raw materials.

Green packaging – the adoption rate of sustainable materials, such as bioplastics, is expected to rise. More natural & organic food companies are likely to adopt such materials as they look to reduce their packaging impacts.

The Sustainable Foods Summit regularly covers these topics in greater depth. Launched in 2009, the executive summit now takes place in Europe, North & Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific.

Posted: January 5th 2017

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