Asia making strides in global organic food market
Sustainable Foods Summit event in Singapore to describe the fastest growing markets of China and India.
November 15, 2017
by Canadian Packaging staff
LONDON, UK—Asia is showing some of the highest growth in the global organic food market. New research by Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor) shows that some Asian country markets are reporting double-digit growth rates, with regional sales poised to reach US $10 billion in the coming years.
As will be shown at the Sustainable Foods Summit Asia Pacific 2017, two of the fastest growing markets for organic products are in China and India. Growing awareness of organic production methods and rising disposable incomes are fueling demand for organic and sustainable foods.
Concerns about food safety and quality appear to be the main motive for consumer purchases in Asia. The Chinese market has expanded significantly in the last decade partly because of the high incidence of food scares, such as rotten meat, sewage oil, and contaminated beef and pork. The melamine scandal – which involved dairy products and infant formula adulterated with the industrial chemical – has had most impact. China now has the largest market for organic infant formula products in the world, worth about US $200 million.
The market in India is also showing accelerated growth. Like China, a burgeoning middle-class is willing to pay a premium for organic foods perceived to be healthier and safer than conventional foods. The recent announcement by the Indian government of a common organic logo and domestic regulation is expected to boost consumer confidence in organic products. India already has the highest number of organic producers in the world, 585,000. In 2016, a major milestone was reached when Sikkim became the first 100 percent organic state in Asia.
High growth in the Asian organic products market is attracting investment. Inner Mongolia Shengmu High-Tech Dairy Company, the largest organic dairy company in China, became publicly listed in 2014. The leading organic food enterprise in India, Sresta Natural Bioproducts, is partly owned by the investment firms Peepul Capital and Ventureast. It sells over 200 organic products under the Mantra Organic brand in its domestic market, as well as exports to international markets.
Ecovia Intelligence expects more such investment in the coming years. North America, the region with the premier organic products market, has seen many dedicated organic NSD and natural food companies ‘swallowed up’ by large enterprises. Whole Foods Market was bought by Amazon for US $13.7 billion earlier this year. Prior to that, the multinational Danone acquired Whitewave Foods for a similar fee. In a bid to become one of the most sustainable companies in the world, Unilever purchased Pukka Herbs (UK) and Mãe Terra (Brazil) a few weeks ago.
With the regional organic products market poised to show high growth, Asian companies could be hot pickings for investors and large food companies.
An update on the Asian, North American and global market for organic products will be given in upcoming editions of the Sustainable Foods Summit:
- Sustainable Foods Summit Asia-Pacific: November 28-29, 2017, Singapore;
- Sustainable Foods Summit North America: January 30-31, 2018, San Francisco.
About the Sustainable Foods Summit
The aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit is to explore new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry by discussing key industry issues in a high-level forum. The Asia-Pacific edition will be hosted in Singapore on November 28-29, 2017, whilst the North American edition will take place in San Francisco on January 30-31. More information is available from www.sustainablefoodssummit.com.
About Ecovia Intelligence
Ecovia Intelligence (formerly known as Organic Monitor) is a London-based specialist research, consulting and training company that focuses on global ethical product industries. Since 2001, it has encouraged sustainable development via its services portfolio: market research publications, business and sustainability consulting, technical research, seminars and workshops, and sustainability summits. See www.ecoviaint.com for more information.