Consumer Appetite For Green Food Is Largely Driven By Health Considerations

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Despite all the talk of the fight against global warming, the major driving factor behind US consumers’ appetite for green products is health, according to research published by Mintel.

The report, entitled Green Living, researches the factors involved in environmentally friendly purchasing decisions and establishes a firm connection between health concerns and green food products. Green food sales are experiencing massive growth, Mintel says. The research house predicts the natural food and drink products market to be worth $19.6 billion this year, compared to $11.9 billion last year.

One factor in the growth is the ever increasing sophistication by producers who go to great lengths to innovate product development procedures. In the next few years, the alcoholic beverages branch might be one to watch. Mintel singles this area out as a new growth sector. A clear example of an alcohol company “going green” is McCormick Distillery’s recent launch of a new luxurious brand called 360 Vodka.

The new vodka is marketed for being organic and the campaign is so effective you’d think you were buying milk. McCormick distills the vodka in a newly established outlet called Earth Friendly Distilling Co. Distillation facilities have been built to meet EPA air and water quality standards. Sulfur dioxide emissions have been virtually eliminated; they’re down by 99%. Fossil fuel energy saved is 250%. The bottles of vodka themselves are packaged in eco-friendly materials which even don water-based, rather than oil based inks. Beat that.

The rationale behind McCormick’s decision to go green is compelling. The Mintel report indicates that there’s no end in sight for the growth prospects of organic food and drink food. The market has been growing rapidly for a few years already but the growth trend stays upwards.

Apart from spirits, locally produced wine will win the hearts (probably not the minds) of consumers in years to come because the industry is making a convincing effort to be as eco friendly as possible. Wine is increasingly packaged in eco-friendly glass and local wine producers claim they’re reducing the impact on the environment also by eliminating producer-consumer distances.

In other green product branches such as toiletries, cosmetics or cleaning products, health associations are not as prevalent as in the food and drink sector.