What’s fuelling growth in natural, organic and healthy? – international natural products industry guru Bob Burke walks us through the top trends

One of the most anticipated talks at last month’s Naturally Good trade show in Sydney, Australia, was US industry guru Bob Burke’s presentation on factors fuelling growth in the natural, organic and healthy industry.

While focused on the US natural products scene (making it a perfect primer for brands looking to break into the American market), many of the insights of the presentation – see the full version below – can be applied to opportunities in other key global markets, where there are overlapping trends and consumer priorities.

Old model “turned upside down”
Introducing his talk in Sydney, Burke (founder of top US consultancy Natural Products Consulting), noted that “we are living in a time of tremendous opportunity for tuned in, switched on entrepreneurs,” adding that “it is hard to imagine better conditions for bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market”. But he warned that brand owners that the old go-to-market model and been “turned upside down, and tossed out of the window”. In the new omnichannel world, the key to success, he said, lay with the ability – and willingness – to be truly adaptable.

“We are living in a time of tremendous opportunity for tuned in, switched on entrepreneurs” …. “it is hard to imagine better conditions for bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market”

Ethical choices
Understanding key consumer demographics – Gen Zers and Millennials in particular – was also essential. We have entered the era of the ‘mindful consumer’, said Burke. Better informed than ever on health issues, these shoppers are also making a range of ethical choices – spanning social justice, humane practices, environment and mission-based interests.

Other factors at play included a growing interest in the concept of self-care, and deeper concerns about issues such as supply chain transparency, sustainable packaging and good waste (in turn, creating demand for ‘upcyled’ food products). Growing interest in ‘regenerative agriculture’ and rising awareness of issues around the use of the herbicide glyphosate were also increasingly influencing consumer choices in the US, said Burke.

Among the hottest emerging product and ingredient categories, Burke highlighted:

  • Plant-based (62% CAGR, 2013-17)
  • Keto diet
  • Adaptogens
  • Probiotics/gut health
  • Cauliflower (every vegetable has to have its moment, right?)
  • CBD (“probably growing faster than any trend I’ve witnessed”)
  • Collagen (for both beauty and health applications
  • Nootropics

View the full presentation here: Natural, Organic and Healthy in 2019 and beyond – Factors Fuelling Growth and How to Take Advantage 

Bob Burke is founder of Natural Products Consulting and co-author and co-publisher of the Natural Products Field Manual, Eighth Edition. Prior to consulting, He was with Stonyfield Farm Yogurt for 11 years as vice president, sales & corporate development and vice president, marketing & sales.

Main image: Bob Burke talking at this year’s Naturally Good event in Sydney