Nestle Bought Sweet Earth Foods

The time is now for all companies, including Nestle, to at least start thinking about implementing an organic line of food or products within their business. The billion dollar industry has only seen growth and is continually projected to out perform previous year records.

Some new companies will emerge to deliver the organic needs of consumers but most of the new products coming out nowadays are being created by already-existing companies and businesses.

Smart companies and CEOs have already established themselves in the organic market and are continuously improving and adhering to the variety of consumer wants and needs. They do this to hopefully increase their market share in their respected markets/segments. Companies want profit, and there is profit to be made in the organic industry.

The perfect example of this organic trend comes with the announcement from Nestle that they are acquiring the company, Sweet Earth Foods.

Sweet Earth Foods

  • Handcrafting nourishing and delicious vegetarian prepared foods since 1978
  • Mission Statement: “We nourish lives by making smart food choices that… honor and sustain the land, cultivate a curious mind and palate, and sustain a healthy body.”
  •  Based in Moss Landing, CA
  • 200 employees
  • 10,000 stores in United States

With organic products, it becomes a lifestyle for many people. Millennials are the highest percentage of people who are pro-organic.

 

As consumers are gravitating towards a more health conscious diet and beginning to choice organic or all natural alternatives. The organic sector

Pesticides Used in Organic Farming

Contrary to what most people believe, “organic” does NOT automatically mean “pesticide-free” or “chemical-free”. Where actually, under the laws of most states and federal standards, organic farmers are allowed to use a wide range of powders on their crops and chemical sprays.

In the third installment of the mini-documentary series SHIFT, uploaded and published by YouTube user “Nootka Street”, takes a look at what exactly “organic” means when people mention organic farming and organic produce. The video also shows us that many people aren’t really sure how organically grown produce differs from its conventionally farmed counterparts, and some are even completely misinformed on the matter.

 

What’s The Difference?

Many of the people asked at random about what it means for produce to be “organic” in the video gave answers like, “there aren’t any pesticides or fertilizers used to grow the fruit” or “the food isn’t as processed as conventional produce”. As it turns out, these statements simply aren’t true, as a lot of certified organic produce is in fact grown with the use of pesticides. Where organically grown food differs from conventionally farmed food is in the pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that are used.

 

Why Farm Organically?

While organically grown produce is usually still grown with the aid of pesticides or fertilizers, unnaturally occurring compounds are never used as they are in conventional farming. Organic farms are only allowed to use specific, naturally occurring pesticides such as nicotine or sulfur. The use of these pesticides and fertilizers is considered to have far fewer health risks than the potentially cancer-causing compounds used in conventional farming.

delicious red apple, organic fruit
Organic Apple from Pixnio.com

 

Another common misperception that the video sheds light on is that conventionally grown produce does not necessarily contain more traces of pesticides or fertilizers when it reaches the consumer. Typically, in part due to the vast amount of produce overseen by so few people, the conventionally grown produce isn’t as regulated and thus can contain larger trace amounts of pesticides and fertilizers. However, as the conventional farmer in the video tells us, the amount of pesticides and fertilizers left on the produce ultimately comes down to the individual farmer’s integrity and responsibility.

The Takeaway

Overall, the video seems to send a message to consumers that while buying organic produce reduces one’s risk of consuming unwanted pesticides, consumers should still be aware of where their food is coming from. Searching for certain certified stamps on organic produce is great way to ensure the food you eat truly is grown without unnatural compounds, but we should still be aware that these foods are probably not one hundred percent pesticide free.

 

If you enjoyed this blog post I encourage you to contribute to the discussion!

Read a little more about myself: Here

 

 

 

Is Organic Food Trending on Google Searches?

Organic food and other organic products have been trending and popularized by mass markets over the past 10+ years. I want to try and understand how the different categories of organic food correlated with each other because I see potential market growth for any company who wishes to expand or start an organic line of products.

I turned to the helping hand of Google, with Google Trends.

Image result for google trends free pic

I split up organic food into three broad categories; Produce, Dairy, or Meat. – And was hoping to uncover either a pattern or maybe a niche in the Google searches.

Organic food searches were not centralized, they came from all over the world.

Three Broad Categories

From Google Trends 2004 – present

 

Interest Over Time

Google Trends 2004 – Present

 

The above graph is interesting because I figured it would skew up towards the right because I feel like the average organic consumer has been getting more interested in the topic. But, upon looking at the graph it is clear to see that people were much more interested in organic food back in the early 2000’s apposed to now.

Overall the graph is saying that people used to look up these phrases more 10+ years ago than they do now.

People may just have more precise search queries now instead of generic ones like I used here.

I was most surprised to see “organic dairy” searches to be that low relative to the other two. It was also a real surprising to see “organic meat” searches hovering above “organic produce” on the right side of the graph (the past 5 years) because “organic produce” has had the most market share within the organic food sector for as long as organic food has been marketed.

 

Split the Searches by Region

From Previous Google Trend 2004 – Present

Google then categorized the interest of each search phrase by region of the entire world. “Organic meat” was mostly searched by Canada, South Africa, and Australia. Where India looked up “organic dairy” more often than other countries proportionately.

The biggest sector “organic produce” goes to the largest consumer sector or organics; the United States of America.

Google Trends – Overall

Google trends show that there is interest in organic food, not only from the United States but everywhere. I found it odd that my searches didn’t highlight very much if at all of Europe. As more consumers look up organic food on Google, the bigger the consumer markets widens for organic products.

I believe this is true because once people get the facts on organic versus traditional; then they want to support and become advocates for a healthier lifestyle and sustainability for all.

 

What does California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Do?

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) is an independent party that was the first to provide certification services to all stages of the organic food chain from farms to processors, restaurants, and retailers.

Established

Founded in 1973 in California. Consumers and business people alike trust the CCOF label because it has been distinguished for years, setting the bar for other companies to follow suit.

CCOF certifies the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standards and CCOF international standards.

Their Motto is “CCOF is a nonprofit organization that advances organic agriculture for a healthy world through organic certification, education, advocacy, and promotion. We envision a world where organic is the norm.”                             – From: https://www.ccof.org/

 

They not only offer certification, but have on going information on a routine basis. They inform consumers and businesses with the current and correct guidelines for proper organic procedures. They have a magazine called “Certified Organic” which they distribute throughout their networks., although much if not all the information could be found online.

Ease of Use

They do their best to make certification easy! – So the transition goes smoothly and hopefully encourages more entries in the market.

 

I took this screenshot off CCOF’s website to show their different options when it comes to getting certification through them.

 

 

  • Lots of good information
  • Good client testimonials –  makes people feel safe and comfortable

 

 

Who The CCOF Helps

  • Farms
  • Livestock Operations
  • Processors
  • Private Labelers
  • Brokers
  • Retailers

Where the CCOP Operates

  •  United States
  • Canada
  • Mexico

Why Organic Farming Matters

agriculture, basket, beets

Organic farming matters because biological research into soil and soil organisms has proven beneficial to land that has been used by organic farming methods.

Why Organic, Sustainable Farming Matters: Portrait of a Farmer, originally posted by The Health Journal, gives produce consumers a look into some of the processes of organic farming and the positive effects these processes have on the food a farm produces.

Video Summary and Thoughts

The video brings consumers to Whiffletree Farm, an organic farm located in Warrenton, Virginia. Despite not growing up in a farm family, and having no prior knowledge of farming, Jesse Straight, the subject of the video, owns and operates an organic farm, and shares his beliefs that organic farms are a more reliable model for producing a safe, sustainable food supply.

As the owner of Whiffletree Farm states, animals raised on larger industrial farms are often kept alive only with the use of large amounts of antibiotics and other unnatural supplements.

Straight believes – quite logically – that healthy animals, produce healthy food. Animals living in much smaller populations on organic farms can be treated individually, eliminating the need for the entire food supply being treated with large amounts of antibiotics.

 

Due to organic farming being conducted by smaller, often individually ran farms, tracing the health history of the animal that produces an organic product is much more feasible than on large-scale, industrial farms.

These animals are also given a much more natural environment to grow and live in than in industrial farms.  This leads to much clearer labeling of ingredients on organic products.

Along with the benefits human populations reap from organic farming, Straight also brings to attention that organic farming can actually benefit the land on which it is taking place as well. For example, Straight has a mobile chicken shelter that he moves from spot to spot in a grass field, leaving the grass well fertilized, but not stomped out.

 

This blog was intended to raise awareness of the benefits of organic farming! Many consumers still do not truly understand the differences between organic and inorganic products. I wanted to share my insights and thoughts, I hope you enjoyed.

Top 10 Quotes About Organic Food

This is my personalized list of the top 10 quotes about organic food! Business people, chef’s, and politicians all have strong opinions on the subject matter.

More and more consumers are beginning to shop in the organic sector! Promoting sustainability and a healthy lifestyle!

From reading and a little bit of research I found a handful of inspiring quotes for organic brands and markets, hoping others will connect with the same kind of thoughts and feelings.

 

asia, beautiful, believe

10 . Prince Charles (Prince of Wales)

“The demand for organic food is growing at a remarkable rate. Consumers have made it clear that they want organic produce and every sector of the food chain is responding, with the kind of results we have just seen.”

 

9. Denise Morrison (Chief Executive Officer of Campbell Soup)

“I’ve bought companies in response to the seismic shifts – the consumer preference for food and health and well-being and a gravitation toward more fresh and natural and organic.”

 

8. Anthony Bourdain (American chef, author, and television personality)

“I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered. I feed my daughter almost exclusively organic food.”

 

7. John Robbins (American author)

“Meanwhile, the chemical industry has mounted an aggressive campaign to discredit organic food. And without the knowledge or consent of most Americans, two-thirds of the products on our supermarket shelves now contain genetically engineered ingredients.”

 

6. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada)

“Environmentally friendly business practices have long been main stream, particularly when they create a brand advantage, as with organic foods.”

 

5. Deepak Chopra (American author)

“Don’t eat processed or refined food but rather organic food from the earth – nothing with genetically – modified ingredients.”

 

4. Beth Riesgraf (American actress)

“That lifestyle wears you down fast, so I started to take better care of myself. I exercise, sleep eight hours a night, take vitamins, eat organic foods, skip foods that aren’t good for me, and I surround myself with amazing artists and friends.”

 

3. Michael Pollan (American author and journalist)

“Every major food company now has an organic division. There’s more capital going into organic agriculture than ever before.”

 

2. Michael Specter (American journalist)

“When people say they prefer organic food, what they often seem to mean is they don’t want their food tainted with pesticides and their meat shot full of hormones or antibiotics. Many object to the way a few companies, Monsanto is the most famous of them, control so many of the seeds we grow.”

1. Gautama Buddha (Founding figure)

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

 

I enjoy all of these quotes, but Buddha’s is my favorite. I also believe it is everyone’s own duty to have a healthy lifestyle.

With a healthy lifestyle, comes a more energetic and wholesome life. – And everyone deserves a life they love.

Top 5 Reasons to Use Organic Fertilizer

My top 5 reasons why I think farmers and consumers alike should utilize organic fertilizer over traditional methods. I think overall, if people committed to fully organic then our environment would see a change for the better.

Organic fertilizers offer sustainability over the long run that consumers can trust and rely on.

 

agriculture, backyard, blur

 

  1. Castings create microbes and heal damaged soil

– Castings (Worm waste) is the richest natural fertilizer

– Creating and sustaining on-going microbial activity

 

  1. Castings also act as a natural aerator

– Castings collect and hold moisture and then release the moisture when the plant needs to; -Which in turn naturally breaks compacted soil.

 

  1. There are no chemicals

– which means they are safe for everyone, including pets.

– It keeps your yard or garden free of chemicals

– They are not heat activated or seasonal, so you can use it yearlong without worry

 

  1. Odor-Free

– Worms are fed a combination of grains and never any garbage or waste products

– Great for indoor use (or outside)

 

  1. Accessibility

– More organic products are coming out on the market each day

– You can buy from an online store or from many retailers

– As more consumers move towards sustainability and ecofriendly products, companies will continue to expand

 

A prime example here is https://centraliowaorganicfertilizer.com/

The company, Central Iowa Organic Fertilizer is based out of Indianola, Iowa.

They offer a sustainable organic fertilizer and make it easily obtainable. – They offer their product online but also at over 15 retailers across Iowa (seen on the map below), mostly around Des Moines.

*Source from Google Maps 

 

 

Be sure to read more about me and why I created this blog here: http://ids.uni.edu/marketingorganics/about-me/ ‎

Top 5 Organic Brands Established in Iowa

These are my top 5 organic brands that were established in Iowa. The companies range in sizes and may not be well known. I want to highlight some of their key aspects and show the varieties of organic products that are available from Iowa!

architecture, building, city

5. Kalona Organics 

Kalona Organics

  • Started in 2005
  • Based in Kalona, Iowa
  • Motto: “Developing brands that expand markets in the natural/organic food community.”
  • Offers: Organic bottled milk and butter products

4. Heavenly Organics

https://heavenlyorganics.com/

  • Started in 2005
  • Based in Keota, Iowa
  • Offers: 100% Organic Raw Honey, Chocolate Honey Patties and 100% Organic Whole Cane Sugar
  • * Unique because they use wild beehives instead of farmed beehives, being 100% natural

3. Central Iowa Organic Fertilizer

https://centraliowaorganicfertilizer.com/

  • Started a couple/few years ago from an idea at the Iowa State Fair
  • Based in Indianola, Iowa
  • *800,000 worms and countless babies create the organic fertilizer
  • “It is odorless, child and pet-safe, improves plant growth, soil structure and moisture retention — supported by lots of scientific research”
  • Use: lawns, indoor-plants, gardens

2. Local Burrito

http://localburrito.com/

  • Started in 2009
  • Based in Iowa City, Iowa
  • “They are an event catering company whose mission is to supply freshly prepared, ethically raised organic food”
  • Are also at the local Farmers Market and have a running food truck located in Iowa City

1. Eco Lips Eco Lips

https://ecolips.com/

  • Established in 2003
  • Based (manufactured) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • *First USDA-certified organic lip balm on the market
  • “Use Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa butter and coconut oil to help support a better life for the farmers.”

 

All 5 companies could really be in any order, I just found them all interesting. These organic companies seem to be operating steadily and Iowa may see more in the future, as consumers demand more organic products in the future.

Make sure to follow me on twitter here for more info about organic products and brands: https://twitter.com/MRKTOrganics

The Difference Between Organic Eggs and Free Range/Cage Free Eggs

Organic eggs or conventional eggs? Consumers seem to have almost have too many choices and going to the grocery store for eggs is no exception. Consumers will see an enormous number of products while strolling through the aisles (An average supermarket has over 35,000 products). Many new organic or vegan products are sprouting up as an alternative from traditional/conventional products because consumers demand keeps raising.

Organic Eggs

What type of eggs will people choose when they stroll through the diary section?

  • Conventional cage eggs
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Free Range
  • Cage Free
  • Enriched with Omega-3
  • Vegetarian Fed

 

  • The list goes on but most consumers will likely be debating between about getting the cheaper priced-conventional eggs OR a conscious buyer might consider getting organic or cage free eggs to support a healthier environment and ecosystems.

 

 (Definitions)

USDA Certified Organic

These are produced according to USDA organic standards. Private and state agencies have to inspect and certify organic egg producers.

The chickens get organic feed, and are not pumped with antibiotics.

They must not be raised in cages, and must have access to outside, where they get some exposure to sunlight.

Free Range

These chickens only must have some access to the outdoors in order to be labeled free-range. There are no specific guidelines for free-range egg production. Farms are not required to get certified to claim free-range.

Free-range chickens are usually fed standard commercial chicken feed

Cage Free

Chickens are allowed to roam freely within barns or covered chicken coops. Most of them are likely raised in tight conditions, in a dark, barn-like setting, with clipped beaks and wings, and very little exposure to sunlight.

(There is no guarantee that birds will have outdoor access, and they many never see daylight!)

Cage-free chickens are usually fed standard commercial chicken feed as well

Conventional Eggs

These birds have had clipped wings and beaks. They get stacked in small cages where it is constantly dark, with no exposure to sunlight. There is no room for them to exercise. Get fed standard commercial chicken feed which is packed full of

Conventional eggs are in favor of maximizing profits for the producer, at the cost of the health of the chickens and therefore the health of the consumers.

 

My take:

Organic eggs are superior to cage-free/free-range eggs. And definitely superior to conventional eggs. The only attribute conventional eggs have better than organic eggs is the pricing. Yes, they are cheaper but the quality is much lower. Conventional eggs usually come from chickens with a more stressful life than their counterparts, making the quality of the eggs not as nutrient rich.

When consumers choose cage-free/free-range eggs they are indicating they care about the treatment of the animal.

Organic eggs are the superior option when deciding between eggs because they are nutrient rich and don’t pump the animal full of antibiotics.

Thank you for reading, my hopes was that this information will help someone decide between what kinds of eggs they will purchase in the future.

Come visit my Twitter at: https://twitter.com/MRKTOrganics if you want more information on different organic brands and products!

If you are interested you can read a little about myself here: https://ids.uni.edu/marketingorganics/about-me/ 

 

Organic Marketing is Popular

Hello, welcome to popular organic Marketing tidbits! I am Kyle Heffernen. I am a marketer who lives a healthy oriented life. I am into natural and organic foods because I truly believe, “You are, what you eat”.

Organic Marketing ~ The trend of healthy food products and living has been steadily increasing and becoming more popular in the United States and Europe.

I have just created this blog to keep track of the industry and to add thoughts and my own opinions on the matter, you can also find me on Twitter at Kyleheffernen@MRKTOrganics.

It’s an exciting time for me to get into the industry because more and more companies are being created with an emphasis on organic and fresh products. Also, already existing companies are persuading consumers with new tactics and marketing plans by incorporating more healthy and natural products.

 

Two Different Companies/ Products:

Organic – (Example: Organic Valley)
Conventional – (Example: Great Value)

These are the both the same product (eggs) but are produced and marketed in different ways. Most consumers want to get the largest eggs available for the cheapest price they can afford. That is exactly how marketers would then advertise their eggs and sell them. -But in today’s age,  people are becoming more conscious with what they are eating and are willing to pay for quality.

Main differences in the way each product is Marketed/ Advertised:

ORGANIC:

  • Bright colors and packaging
  • High quality
  • Environmental friendly

Conventional:

  • Large eggs (quantity)
  • cost effective (cheap)