Retail Perspective on Organic and Non-GMO… at ONG Forum
The organic and non-GMO growth trend has continued unabated during COVID-19, with recent reports of organic sales in the U.S. being up 31 percent in the last three years with sales totaling $9.9 billion in 2019, and 29 percent of organic farmers say they plan to expand production.
At the first virtual Organic & Non-GMO Forum last month, speaker Errol Schweizer, senior merchandising advisor at Good Eggs and a 25-plus year veteran of the food system, discussed this growth of organic and non-GMO during COVID-19.
“We are seeing unprecedented levels of consumer demand for organic foods due to evolving consumer trends,” said Schweizer, who elaborated by saying that COVID-19 has accelerated the trend of consumers seeking sustainable foods, eating more healthy, cooking more, and becoming more empowered in demanding traceability and transparency in their food supply. And this points to organic options. “Organics are more affordable and accessible than ever -- mostly through private labels in groceries, which consumers trust,” he said, noting that the challenges of finding conventional food supplies during the pandemic had some converting to organic due to its availability.
Schweizer, a former VP of grocery for Whole Foods who brought more than 6,000 products to market over the last decade with brands such as Vital Farms, Beyond Meat, Justin’s Nut Butters, and more, has also had a huge impact on non-GMO and organic product availability, fair labor standards, Halal and Kosher certification, plant-based foods, and grass-fed and humanely-raised meat, eggs and dairy.
“I have significant optimism that sales of organic and non-GMO food will continue to see steady growth,” Schweizer said. Hear more from Schweizer and over a dozen other speakers by registering for the forum where recorded presentations can still be viewed, and access to all attendees can be had, for up to a year. Learn more at ongforum.com.