The State of Natural & Organic

May 12, 2023
by SPINS Marketing

Embracing Change: Redefining Growth in the Natural Products Industry

The natural products industry has always been about evolution and change. As we navigate the challenges and opportunities of today’s dynamic business landscape, reimagining growth has become more important than ever. In this keynote, the focus was on elevating nutrition, adopting a positive mindset, and embracing expansiveness to redefine growth in the natural products industry.

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Consumers are increasingly looking for products that are not only good for their health but also ones that align with values, such as products that are good for the environment and society. This reflects a growing trend towards sustainability and conscious consumption, as people become more mindful of the impact of their choices on the planet and communities. The industry recognizes this as brands are now raising the bar beyond just, ‘natural’.

The Significance of the Values-Oriented Shopper

Recent SPINS consumer research highlights the significance of the values-oriented shopper, who is less price sensitive but highly values taste, ingredient quality, superior nutrition, health claims, and sustainability. This aligns with the values of the natural industry, making them valuable shoppers. Additionally, they shop more frequently than the typical consumer, with 88% buying groceries at least once a week, and they are also 20% more frequent shoppers than the average consumer. Furthermore, they are adventurous, with 65% identifying themselves as extremely or very adventurous, making them 2.5 times more adventurous than the typical consumer. Understanding the preferences and behaviors of the values-oriented shopper is essential for success in the industry.

Private Label Products: The Rising Trend in the Food and Beverage Industry

The increasing popularity of private label products, also known as store brands, has been a significant trend in the food and beverage industry. Retailers are investing in improving the quality and offerings of their private-label products, providing unique options to attract and retain customers. Looking at the data Private Label products saw a 14.7% increase in year-over-year sales while National Brand products saw a 5.9% increase.

Soup: More Than Just a Comfort Food, It's a Trending Category

The Shelf Stable Soup category has seen a 14% increase in year-over-year sales, with subcategories like Ramen & Udon Blocks seeing a 24.5% increase in year-over-year sales and a 5.9% increase in units sold as well. Ramen and instant noodles have gained popularity among consumers seeking affordable options. However, innovation in the soup category goes beyond affordability, with premium indulgences, clean ingredients, and healthier options driving growth.

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Non-Alcoholic Beverages: A Growing Market for Health-Conscious Consumers

Non-alcoholic beverages have been on the rise as health-conscious consumers seek alternatives to alcohol. The market has seen a surge in innovation, with a wide range of options available, including kombucha, CBD beverages, non-alcoholic spirits, wines, and beers. Craft, cocktail-like experiences without alcohol are becoming increasingly popular among consumers. Non-alcoholic Beer saw a 17% increase in year-over-year sales while Hop Teas and Waters saw a 34% increase in year-over-year sales.

Fiber: A Functional Ingredient Gaining Attention in the Food and Beverage Industry

Fiber, often overlooked, is gaining attention in the food and beverage industry as consumers become more aware of the importance of digestive health. Many Americans do not meet their recommended daily fiber intake, providing an opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers to incorporate more fiber-rich options in their products. Fiber is expected to play a larger role in promoting better nutrition and gut health as the macronutrient finds itself from the beverage category to the snack category.

The Outlook for The Natural and Organic Industry

The food and beverage industry is constantly evolving, and these trends in the natural products space are shaping the industry’s landscape. Manufacturers and retailers are leveraging these trends to provide unique and innovative products that cater to changing consumer preferences and demands. It will be interesting to see how these trends continue to develop and influence the future of the food and beverage industry.