By Simon Jones and Richard Hughes, ReutersFood giants are starting to pull back on advertising campaigns that focus on farm production, which could help to boost organic crops and boost sales of their more expensive products.
The move comes as the sector is seeing the rise of organic food as an important part of its strategy to regain its share of the market, even as farmers are struggling with rising food prices and rising costs of growing crops, which has led to higher prices and more food wastage.
The US, Europe and Japan are among the world’s leading consumers of organic produce, but farmers and food companies are increasingly turning their focus to growing food from more sustainable and less expensive sources.
Many of the top brands in the US and Europe are now starting to focus on organic farming in an effort to boost sales.
For example, Trader Joe’s, which is the biggest seller of organic meat, has said it will begin advertising in the U.S. this year.
Its chief marketing officer, Michael Siegel, told Reuters that the decision to focus more on organic was driven by growing organic demand, particularly in the growing organic-based segment, which includes packaged goods.
In the U: organic meat is now selling for $2.50 per pound, up from $1.99 last year.
And, the supermarket chain Whole Foods has also increased its organic offerings to include meat, dairy and poultry.
“We have to do better in this arena,” Siegel said.
“But we have to be smarter about what we’re doing in this space.”
“We’re talking about what you buy, what you eat, where you shop and where you eat,” he said.
The shift is also being driven by changes in the marketplace.
Organic products are cheaper in countries where organic food is more widely available, and that has led many consumers to choose more expensive options, according to a survey by the marketing research firm Brandmetrics.
The survey found that the average cost of organic goods in 2017 was $9.38 per pound in the United States, $8.83 in France and $8 in Italy, compared to $5.80 in Germany, $5 in the UK and $5 each in Italy and the UK.
Organic food is also gaining popularity in developing countries such as India and China.
“In many parts of the world, the traditional agriculture model has been replaced by an agrarian model,” said Dan O’Shea, senior vice president of food innovation at market research firm MarketData.
“The more you have an organic product, the more people will pay attention to the fact that it’s grown organically,” he added.
In China, organic food sales are growing by 5.3 percent annually, compared with 2.4 percent last year, according the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.
“China is a huge market, and organic food has really been a very successful way to reach out to China,” said O’Sullivan.
“It’s been growing at a very rapid pace.”
The United States has seen a surge in organic purchases, which rose 15 percent in the last year to $832.9 million, according an April analysis by market research group Brandmetric.
More than $1 trillion worth of organic products have been sold in the country this year, which was up about 5 percent from the previous year, with organic food growing at 8.5 percent annually.
“It’s important for the food industry to take organic into account as it’s becoming increasingly important for farmers to be able to feed their families, as well as be able make a profit,” said Matt Moxley, director of the Brand and Consumer Engagement Initiative at the consumer advocacy group Food Democracy Now.
“There’s a big shift happening in the market for organic, and there are a lot of players involved,” he told Reuters.
The organic market has also grown in the developing world, where the number of organic-grown food items is growing rapidly.
The number of items on the market in the Middle East has doubled since 2010, to 5,200, according Brandmetics.
The market for farm-fresh food has also been on the rise.
In the United Arab Emirates, organic fruit and vegetables, which are sold under the brand Nabiya, are growing at 5 percent annually while in China, they rose to about 8 percent.
In Latin America, which also has a growing organic food sector, there has been a surge of organic foods sold by companies such as Filipe Nogales in Peru, as the market there has seen organic products become more popular.
The Brazilian company Nabiana is also pushing organic products to Latin America’s growing middle class, with prices starting at $3.50 a kilogram.
In Colombia, which already has the highest percentage of its population living in the urban areas, the number has increased to nearly 35 percent.
In Mexico, which accounts for more than one-third of the country, organic fruits and vegetables