As organic products are considered as premium products and have a price higher than their conventional counterparts, packaging for these products needs to be reflective of the same quality standards. When consumers buy organic food, they expect to buy an all-around ecologically friendly product, including packaging. The packaging material for organic food should be environmentally-friendly, ecologically sustainable, and have a high degree of recyclability and perhaps carry graphic design work characteristic of organic produce for effective advertising.
For organic food products packaging special, labeling is done to give the consumer confidence that the goods they buy are produced in line with organic farming and processing regulations such as EU Directive 834/2007. The certifying agencies for organic food products packaging include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) organic food label, United States Department of Agriculture (the U.S.DA) organic label, EU organic farming label, and National organic labels (e.g. France).
The organic industry is growing at a remarkable rate from the last few years. According to the U.S.DA (United States Department of Agriculture), the consumer demand for organic products continues to show double-digit growth. Organic products are now available across nearly 20,000 natural food stores and nearly 3 out of 4 conventional grocery stores. As per the industry statistics given by the U.S.DA, Organic sales account for over 4% of the total U.S. food sales. The demand for organically grown food is increasing among the consumers of the U.S. According to the Nutrition Business Journal, fresh fruits and vegetables have been the top-selling organic grown products since the organic industry has started retailing products over 3 decades ago. The increasing consumer demand for organic products means more companies are focusing on and incorporating organic and all-natural food items in their portfolio, which in turn is accelerating the demand for organic food products packaging.
Globally, health consciousness is on the rise as consumers are becoming more aware of the health hazards of using conventional products. Also, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, among others, has created serious concern among the consumers at a global level. Consumers are swiftly inclining towards consuming natural and organic foods with few chemicals.
Food manufacturers are nowadays focusing on product differentiation. The organic industry has opened avenues of opportunities for food manufacturers to establish their pillars in the market. The demand for organic products is increasing at a higher pace, mostly in the western regions, due to increasing awareness regarding health. Manufacturers are cashing in on this and are attracting customers by providing special packaging for organic products with organic labeling and informative packaging regarding organic food. In addition, the manufacturers of organic food products are launching their product by saying that the product is chemical-free, all-natural, organic, and non-GMO. Furthermore, the manufacturers are performing advertisements full of information regarding the benefits of organic products and the health hazards of consuming conventional food products.
Paper-based packaging is considered safe for organic products as it is recyclable and ecologically sustainable. The demand for paper-based packaging is high for fruits and vegetable packaging. Paperboard, paper-based carton, among others, are extensively used in organic food products packaging. The second most preferred packaging for organic products is bio-plastic packaging, which is made up of bio-based material such as cellulose. The demand for this packaging is increasing, owing to its recyclability and harmlessness regarding environmental concerns. Due to increasing regulations for plastic-based packaging, manufacturers are increasingly focusing on the packaging that is environmentally-friendly. Bio-plastic packagings are expensive compared to the other packaging; hence, the usage is less as compared to paper-based and other packagings.
High Consumption of Organic Products in Western Regions
The demand for organic food product packaging is high in western regions such as North America and Europe, owing to the high consumption of organic food products compared to the other regions. According to the FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture), in 2018, the total organic food market was around the U.S.D 111 billion in which U.S., Germany, and France were the top three contributors in the global organic food product market. The U.S. contributed USD 46.5 billion, Germany USD 12.5 billion, and France USD 10.4 billion, in 2018.
Asia-Pacific Exports Organic Food Products to European Economies
Asia-Pacific is also witnessing substantial growth in the organic industry; countries such as Australia and New Zealand in the region have a penchant for organic food, which is expected to bolster the organic food products packaging demand in Asia-Pacific. Most of the countries in Asia-Pacific are exporting organic food to European countries as the consumption is high in Europe; also, the consumers in Asia-Pacific are price sensitive; hence, they opt for conventional and cheap products over expensive products.
Most of the players engaged in the manufacturing of organic food products packaging are based out of North America and Europe to gain major sales as consumers in these regions are more inclined towards organic food products compared to other regions. However, the demand for organic products in Asia-Pacific is also gradually increasing. Players who are planning to launch new organic products can focus on Asia-Pacific as competition is quite low in this region compared to North America and Europe.
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