Top Five Natural Food Trends Revealed: Who is Buying, and Why

New Hope Natural Media and Sterling-Rice Group define in depth the most impactful trends within the natural, organic and functional food space

Sep 05, 2013, 12:00 ET from Penton

BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton, and Sterling-Rice Group have released the top five natural products industry food trends in the U.S. market as consumers shift strongly to healthier eating and embrace a renewed focus on health and disease prevention. For a full reveal of sales and growth figures, trends, opportunities and market leaders in the natural and organic food and beverage, dietary supplements, beauty, household product and pet categories, download NEXT: The Natural Products Industry Forecast 2014 now at

In 2012, U.S. consumer sales of natural, organic, and functional foods and beverages totaled $94.7 billion of the overall $703 billion food pie.  By taking stock of the trends and forces laid out in the NEXT: Forecast, food and beverage companies, large and small, will have the greatest opportunity for growth within the natural products space.

The current five natural food trends are:

1. Convenience is King: 100 million (or nearly half) of American adults today are single and many of them live alone. Given that so many people are flying solo, we're spending less time in the kitchen.  One potentially lucrative (at least in the long term) demographic is the millennials, as they are entering adulthood now, and they view health, nutrition, and branding differently than boomers.

2. Allergen Concerns on the Rise: Six million children have food allergies, according to the Pediatrics Journal.  Ninety percent of all food allergy reactions are caused by eight major foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.  Americans are awakening to their allergies, more manufactures are creating entirely free-from products so consumers can enjoy without worry.

3. Meat Free Mentality: One-third of Americans now report eating vegetarian meals a significant amount of the time, and 48 percent of U.S. shoppers seek good-tasting vegetarian food, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group's 2011 national poll.  Even if they are not full-fledged vegetarians or vegans, a growing number of consumers fall into the "flexitarian" bucket—meaning that they are looking to cut at least some meat from their diets and replace it with plant-based foods.

4. Labeling Goes Local: 75 percent of natural food retailers say local is the most influential product claim in grocery right now.  People, seeking to connect with where their food is sourced and support nearby businesses are increasingly seeking this claim.  Local is expected to continue to gain prominence over the next three to five years, thanks to forces such as the Slow Food and Slow Money movements, which are effectively spreading the word about the social, economic and health benefits of buying close to home.

5. It's Cool to Care: Driven by passionate entrepreneurs who care as much (if not more) about creating positive change in the world as they do about making money, cause marketing is gaining ground.  Food and beverage companies must take on a whole new approach to marketing and branding to win over consumers.  By 2018, Whole Foods Market announced that all products sold in its U.S. and Canadian stores containing genetically modified ingredients must be labeled.

The NEXT Forecast features current U.S. sales and growth estimates for all natural and organic product categories, with projections into 2018, and discusses trends, opportunities and market leaders in natural and organic food and beverage, dietary supplements, beauty, household products and pet categories. This exhaustive report serves as the definitive guide to where the natural, organic and healthy products market is now and where it is headed.

For more detail and examples of the top five natural food trends, download the pdf by visiting

About New Hope Media
New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton, is the leading media resource and information provider for the natural, organic and healthy products industry, with print, in-person/event, and e-business products and services.

About Sterling-Rice Group
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Sterling-Rice Group is a nationally recognized leader in brand development. Sterling-Rice Group proudly works with many of the top food and beverage companies in the world, providing research, strategy, design, product development, and marketing communications. Visit for more information.

About Penton
For millions of business owners and decision-makers, Penton makes the difference every day. We engage our professional users by providing actionable ideas and insights, data and workflow tools, community and networking, both in person and virtually, all with deep relevance to their specific industries. We then activate this engagement by connecting users with tens of thousands of targeted providers of products and services to help drive business growth. Learn more about our company at

Penton is a privately held company owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP.



Heather Smith  

Hilary Martin

For New Hope Natural Media

For Sterling-Rice Group

Phone: 303-998-9232

Phone: 303-907-4411



Kate Spellman

For Penton

Phone: 212-204-4351