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Consumers want organic versions of their favourite food, say sector specialists

By Anna Bonar+

02-Sep-2014
Last updated on 02-Sep-2014 at 15:46 GMT2014-09-02T15:46:33Z

EHL Ingredients says classic herbs such as rosemary or parsley were not performing as strongly as exotic ingredients and hotter spices. Photo credit: Julie Gibbons
EHL Ingredients says classic herbs such as rosemary or parsley were not performing as strongly as exotic ingredients and hotter spices. Photo credit: Julie Gibbons

Organic seeds, spicy ingredients as well as organic versions of everyday meals are key trends, according to the company EHL Ingredients and a food marketing expert.

Speaking with FoodNavigator Hamish Renton, a food marketing expert, and Tasneem Backhouse, sales and marketing director at EHL Ingredients, said the sector was experiencing a boom after a four-year decline and suggested that there were opportunities for manufacturers to add organic ranges to their mainstream portfolios. Renton said, "the category saw a 2.8% increase in sales in 2013 and is now worth £1.7bn. Key drivers behind this include baby food where organic products account for over half of retail sales".

“The reduction of harmful chemicals is the highest motivating factors in purchasing; although being an ethical consumer and environmentally friendly also appeals to many consumers under the age of 34. Other selling trends include organic box schemes and catering and restaurant sales which have both significantly increased,” he added.

New twist on old favourites

Backhouse said: “Todays’ discerning consumers want foods they would normally choose, but in an organic variant. To boost interest in organic dishes, manufacturers need to ensure they create tasty, appealing and consistent dishes that consumers will love and enjoy time and time again.” 

Seed of success

Organic seeds had multiple applications and could be used in snacks, home bakery and cookery, energy bars, breakfast cereals as well as salad garnishes.

“Organic seeds are areas of huge growth as their health benefits have been widely covered in the media, and they can be used within such a wide range of foods and bakery items, plus they have increased their share of the snacking market,” said Backhouse.

Spice up organic

Backhouse added classic herbs such as rosemary or parsley were not performing as strongly as exotic ingredients and it was the hotter spicier ingredients for global cuisine that had the greatest potential.

Tasneem Backhouse

“In terms of emerging trends, we predict that there will be more demand for innovative organic ingredient blends, rubs, marinades for use within world foods such as curries, stews, tangines, soups, spicy BBQ and Cajun blends as well as hot chilli blends for Mexican dishes,” said Backhouse.

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