Laetitia Durafour, Marketing Director at Crown Food Europe, looks at the significant rise in popularity of organic produce and the benefits of metal packaging to this burgeoning sector
The organic food and beverage market is set to continue its surge in popularity, with considerable growth forecast through 2025. According to a recent report - “Organic Foods & Beverages - Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts “ states that the organic foods and beverages market worldwide is projected to grow by US$226 Billion, driven by a compounded growth of 14.8%.
According to the study, the organic foods segment displays the potential to grow at over 14.1% in that period, as consumers turn to more health-conscious products.. The shifting dynamics supporting this growth makes it critical for businesses in this space to keep abreast of the changing pulse of the market. Poised to reach over US$189.8 Billion by the year 2025, organic foods will bring in healthy gains adding significant momentum to global growth. North America will maintain a 15.8% growth momentum, as consumers turn to more health-conscious products. Within Europe, which continues to remain an important element in the world economy, Germany will add over US$8.9 Billion to the region's size and clout in the next five to six years. Over US$10.8 Billion worth of projected demand in the region will come from the rest of the European markets.
Another report from Zion Research states that an increase in the accessibility of organic product in Europe, in addition to a shift in preference towards a healthy lifestyle, is predicted to drive this considerable growth in the region, while Asia Pacific is also following suit. Growing awareness and rising disposable income levels are key drivers, in addition to advancement in biological farming techniques and continued imports from Europe and North America.
In France, 55% of consumers see organic labels as playing an important role in their purchasing decisions of goods in the fresh self-service supermarket aisles. In 2017, 94% of consumers bought organic produce, with vegetables showing strong growth year by year and being increasingly more present in consumers’ baskets.
Metal Packaging: A Natural Partner for Organics
Given the reputation of organic produce as better for our health and better for the environment, many raw organic items could be sold loose, particularly fruit and vegetables. Fresh ingredients harvested and collected from farms, fisheries, dairies and other food sources are immediately canned for safe keeping in optimum conditions in metal packaging to maintain freshness and taste.
Metal packaging aligns perfectly with the sustainable nature of this form of produce. Metal is a natural material that is infinitely recyclable, meaning it can be recycled over and over without any loss of physical properties. In fact, the vast majority of metal used for packaging is still in circulation today. This constant reuse into new containers or other metal products saves raw materials and energy and reduces CO2 emissions.
For organic foods, its uses are almost as infinite as its recyclable credentials and the more products that are certified organic, the more opportunity there is for metal. Fruits and vegetables are obvious candidates that have long been encased in metal, along with infant formula and fish including sardines, mackerel and herrings. More exotic products such as coconut milk are also synonymous with cans, and premium items like foie gras are often also packaged in metal.
The protective and preserving qualities of metal packaging are what makes it such a formidable substrate for organic produce. The can, for example, provides a hermetic seal that protects against light and oxygen, at the same time locking in nutrients that would otherwise begin to degrade if the product was merely refrigerated. These qualities also make cans a key weapon in the fight against food waste at each stage in the supply chain. For example, packaging produce in cans rather than packing it for refrigeration or freezing saves over one billion litres of food per year – an enormous amount that would otherwise be left to rot in landfill.
Whether you are a producer or a consumer of organic produce, the chances are that in doing so you are keeping an eye firmly on the quality of the product and its impact on the environment. In these instances, it is advisable to look beyond the item in front of you and to consider the bigger picture in terms of sustainability, as there are often elements that have a significant impact on those credentials. For organic food producers, sustainability is as important as health benefits and quality and one thing is certain: organics and metal go hand in hand when it comes to consumer care and satisfaction.
Metal is also a compelling choice when considering aspects such as premiumisation and brand differentiation at point of sale. Beyond being a noble and malleable material, metal is the ideal canvas to bring out the premium qualities of the organic products inside. Crown provides its customers with numerous possibilities to package their organic products, including options that lend them a premium look with extraordinary shapes, sophisticated finishes and convenient solutions. The company’s in-house design capabilities have benefited numerous brands looking for support on projects, from the inception stages until the finite products were ready to be launched on the retail shelves.
Made in Europe, these cutting-edge technologies and decorative options underline the core brand values of Crown’s customers in the organics market and provide premiumization that enables them to attract and further engage with consumers, building a strong connection to their brand.