Traveling the Trades
This time of the year – cold, blustery,wet, slick, gloomy – inspires one’s industry research to travel no further than the end of one’s arm. Since we have ceremoniously departed one year and are eagerly embracing the next, I thought it would be appropriate to explore the current batch of trade magazines to see what the experts have to say about the past and the future.
Kathie Canning, Editorial Director, Progressive Grocer, Store Brands (January, 2012) reports that in a Pollock Communications survey of more than 200 registered dietitians, 72 percent predicted that consumers will continue to demand more local, organic, sustainable, fresh and minimally processed foods in 2012. One hundred forty-four dietitians can’t be wrong! In the same magazine edition, Helen Eddy, assistant vice president, health and wellness, Hy-Vee, Inc. states the health department is the fastest-growing department in her stores, with increasing demand for natural and organic products continuing to grow, especially in the gluten-free segment.
Gourmet News (February, 2012) announces that the 37th Winter Fancy Food Show, January 15 – 17, 2012, Moscone Center, San Francisco was a rousing success with over 80,000 products from 1,300 exhibitors, representing more than 35 countries. Show organizers claim this was the largest West Coast show ever in terms of floor space, with renewals higher than they were at this time last year. Also, according to Gourmet News, retail coffee keeps percolating up the sales charts, reaching $7.3 billion in 2011, an increase of nearly 17% over 2010 while the U.S. market for tea sold at retail was projected to reach $6.5 billion in 2011, up 5.2%. Haven’t people heard the economy stinks?
The fine folks at Food Business News (January 31, 2012) write that the Bossa Nova Superfruit Company LLC is introducing a reduced calorie superfruit beverage. The new product has only 90 calories per 10 ounce serving and comes in four flavors: organic acai original, organic acai blueberry, organic acai pomegranate and acerola red peach. Let me see if I have this right. This company, Bossa Nova Superfruit Company LLC, has developed a low fat beverage with flavors that flat out sound delicious, it’s organic with none of that nasty stuff and it’s made of superfruits so it has to be super healthy. Makes me want to do the………well you know!
When you really want to know what is going on in the organic industry, where do you go? Of course, Organic Processing magazine. In the January/February, 2012 edition, Miles McEvoy and Soo Kim write about the international organic market. Miles McEvoy is the deputy administrator of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) and an Advisory Team member of Blue Mountain Station. A few of the highlights of the article are:
- U.S. organic exports are estimated at $1.8 billion annually
- 41 of the 93 organic certification agents are foreign-based to ensure that USDA operating systems in other countries receive the same degree of oversight as those based in the U.S.
- Domestic sales of organic products in China are expected to be as high as $3.6 – $8.7 million by 2015
- Chinese organic production covers approximately 3.8 million hectares with much of the production dedicated to export markets in North America, Europe and Asia
- From 1995 to 2006, the Chinese export value of organic foods rose from $300,000 to $350 million, representing an annual growth rate of 30%
- Canada is the largest export market for U.S. organic products, with sales accounting for $1.4 billion in 2010
- U.S. exports to Korea in 2010 were approximately $13 million compared to $10.5 million in 2009
A little closer to home, the Tri-City Herald (Tri-Cities, Washington…..February 07, 2012) announced that Yoke’s Fresh Markets (Spokane, Washington) is planning on building a fourth store in the area. Yoke’s is a great operation. Another store will be a fantastic addition to the community. Did I mention that John Bole, Yoke’s President/CEO is also on the Blue Mountain Station Advisory Team?
We just burned our last Duraflame, the family dog wants outside more, the squirrels are climbing the cottonwoods with a little more zest and Natural Products Expo West is just around the corner. These are all signs of more sunshine, bluer skies and warmer temperatures, all positive and good. Speaking of which, it appears that 2012 is looking all positive and good, especially for Blue Mountain Station, the world’s first natural and organic food park! It you are interested in discussing the Blue Mountain Station West Coast business opportunity for processors and co-packers contact me at 509-539-3575 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting during Natural Products Expo West. Let’s grow your business together. I am waiting to hear from you!