Beyond Organic

| January / February 2006

Good food is about more than standards: It's a state of mind

Most people who buy organic see their purchases as the healthy choice: for their bodies, for farmers, and for the land. Spend some time browsing the food and beverage trade journals, though, and you'll soon discover that the industry values organic foods for a different reason. Sales in the category have grown at an average rate of 20 percent a year, compared to 2 to 3 percent in the industry overall. Which is why the National Restaurant Association, among others, has concluded that organic foods are a "potential emerging opportunity to increase profits."

And while you won't find their names emblazoned on packaging at your local co-op, America's top agricorporations, including Philip Morris/Kraft, General Mills, and Dean Foods, are scrambling to get in on organic profits, often by purchasing familiar brands that pioneered the organic movement.