| èMambo Sprouts Marketing released survey results in November showing that consumers are going back to basics to bolster their health. Findings showed 84 percent take vitamins, 73 percent eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, and 68 percent choose organic foods. In addition, 59 percent of consumers polled said they expect to increase the amount of organic products purchased during 2010.
èThe recession has prompted consumers of specialty foods to cook more often at home and to plan more meals ahead of time, according to research from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. The findings, presented in “Today’s Specialty Food Consumer 2009,” showed that organic foods appeal most to those ages 35 to 44.
è The market for products marketed on the basis of ethical standards, including organic, is thriving despite the recession, according to a report by Packaged Facts released in October 2009. “Our survey indicates that more shoppers understand the environmental, social, and economic implications of their choices. The result is a sizeable number of consumers who will purchase typically more expensive ethical products even in economically challenging times,” according to Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.
è Gourmet Gorilla, Inc., which supplies local and organic food to schools in Chicago, IL, has recently acquired Green Bag Lunch, which allows 20,000 students at 60 schools in the Chicago area to have access to Gourmet Gorilla’s Organic School Lunch Programs.
è CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) has certified Baredessono Hotel and Spa’s organic vegetable garden in Yountville, CA. Food from the certified organic garden is served in the hotel’s restaurant.
èGourmet Chef Paul Bertolli has developed fresh, ready-to-heat organic dishes that are being marketed through Costco warehouse stores.
èOrganic grocer Earth Fare opened its 17th location in December with a store opening in Chattanooga, TN.
è Sales of organic, shade-grown coffee also certified as “Bird Friendly” rose to nearly $3.5 million in 2008, according to a report by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center of the National Zoo. According to the report, 61 percent of all Bird Friendly coffee roasted was consumed in the United States, followed by Japan, at 36 percent, and Canada, at 3 percent. In related news, the National Zoo partnered with coffee roaster Golden Valley Farms to serve Bird Friendly certified organic coffee in the zoo’s three restaurants as of Dec. 1, 2009.
è Green Initiative is sponsoring a Living Fence Organic Garden at a local community center for children in Florida. Global Organic Specialty Source (GOSS) provided the scholarship. Seeds, transplants and other items were donated to help the center children grow and eat organic food. GOSS will develop the project into a full-raised bed community garden.