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Published 05.30.2017

Both Consumers and Operators are Seeking Out Organic Foods

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Consumers today want to feel good about what they’re eating. They have shifted away from terms like "fat-free" and "low-calorie" (Healthy 1.0) and now seek out foods that are both clean and ethical, like organic and antibiotic-free foods (Health 2.0), as well as functional foods menued with terms like "power" and "energy" (Healthy 3.0). Healthy terms associated with both clean-eating and functional ingredients continue to grow on menus, year over year.

"Organic" is also one of the top five healthy attributes that consumers say they would pay more for, and overall nearly 70% of consumers say they are more likely to buy organic foods. Organic foods particularly resonate with Millennials – three out of four Millennials consumers say they are more likely to buy organic foods. Asian and Hispanic consumers are also more likely to seek out organic foods compared to other demographic groups.

With high consumer interest in organic foods, operators are actively seeking out organic options to add to the menu. "Organic" is the number one healthy attribute operators are willing to pay a premium for, indicating that today’s foodservice decision-makers clearly see value in the "organic" label. Fine dining and fast casual restaurants, with their premium, feel-good reputation, are most likely to menu organic foods; QSRS, midscale, and casual operators should consider menuing more organic options in order to compete with these segments.

Now there are plenty operators with "organic" right in the name of the restaurant or concept. People's Organic, with restaurant locations in Minnesota and Massachusetts, serves an all-organic menu with all-day breakfast featuring options like a Portobello and gravy biscuit with chicken sausage, plus sandwiches like the Thai pulled chicken option with daikon radish sprouts and sriracha aioli. Meal kit delivery service, Green Chef, promises that 95% of its ingredients are organic, while Yes! Organic Market has been serving the Washington, D.C. area since 1970.

At the same time, with so many health terms being used in the industry today, consumers sometimes say they are confused about what certain terms mean. While 95% of consumers are aware of the term "organic," 40% say that they need help understanding the term. For that reason, market research firm Datassential says it expects foods that are USDA Certified Organic, with its clear definition, to "continue as the gold standard for 'clean foods,' resulting in a greater demand."

Foodservice operators can also work directly with distributors and manufacturers to understand exactly how they define terms and pass that information on to customers. PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® Organic Chicken, for instance, is USDA Certified Organic and only fed a 100% USDA Certified Organic vegetarian diet.

FACT BOX
  • The term "organic" has grown 242% on menus.
  • 68% of consumers say they are more likely to buy organic foods.
  • 42% of operators say they would pay more for organic ingredients.

PUT THIS TREND INTO ACTION

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Not only are the majority of consumers seeking out organic foods, they are also willing to pay more for it. PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® Organic Chicken is USDA Certified Organic and fed a 100% USDA Certified Organic vegetarian diet with no animal by-products, in addition to being free range, Non-GMO Project Verified, and raised with NO ANTIBIOTICS EVER. Perdue believes that if you wouldn’t feed it to your guests, it shouldn’t be given to their animals. PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® Organic Frozen Chicken is available nationwide.

ON THE MENU


OPERATOR MENU ITEM
Buenos Aires
(New York, NY)
ORGANIC POLLO A LAS BRASAS: Half-roasted chicken Argentinian-style, marinated in lemon and herbs.
Dumpling Daughter
(Weston, MA)
ORGANIC CHICKEN KATSU BOWL: Organic crispy chicken, tonkatsu sauce, tomato, cucumber, pickled radish.

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