Organic products are foods and beverages produced using methods that meet the standards of organic agriculture. Standards vary around the world, but organic farming is characterised by practices that recycle resources, promote ecological balance and preserve biodiversity. According to the Agence Bio, the global organic market is very dynamic, having tripled in the space of 10 years! And the organic infant milk segment is also growing and will continue to do so in the years to come.
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What is Organic ?
Organic has established itself as a quality standard, guaranteeing that products meet specifications recognised worldwide. The European regulations that have governed organic farming since 1991 set very strict rules for the use of the European organic logo and make it possible to identify 100% organic products, or processed products containing at least 95% ingredients of organic agricultural origin.
In other countries, including notably China, the rules governing organic products are largely the same. However, the Chinese organic certification system does not recognise the European organic certification system. As a result, to sell products as certified organic in China it is necessary for the entire supply chain (livestock, processing, distribution) to be approved by a certifying body accredited in China by the Chinese equivalent of the European Ministry of Agriculture.
Over the past 18 years organic agricultural land has expanded considerably across the world. The number of organic farms increased 11-fold between 2000 and 2018. This trend toward expansion has certainly supported the democratisation of organic products. Consumption of organic products has even become the standard in certain categories: for example, 90% of the market for eggs in France is organic.
The growing organic market
According to Agence Bio, the global organic market was worth €112 billion in 2019. It is a constantly growing market, which has tripled in 10 years and expanded more than 7-fold in 20 years.
The market has changed significantly in recent years, driven primarily by Europe and the United States for the past two decades. These areas remain leaders in the organic market today with an 83% market share. However, over the past decade growth has been driven by Asia. Indeed, China in particular has become more open to premium and high-value offers guaranteeing naturalness and quality, promises particularly well represented by organic products.
In the organic market, baby food is over-represented (13%) compared to its importance in the conventional market (2%). This is influenced by the approach taken by many young parents, who seek tangible evidence of quality in their child's diet. This explains the dynamic nature of this sub-segment over the last 20 years, with a market that has multiplied by 5. This growth is particularly supported by the expansion of baby formula, which in 2021 represented half of the baby food market.
What is the future of organic baby formula ?
According to Euromonitor, in 2021, the organic formula market was worth €2.8 billion, i.e. 6.3% of the global formula market (€44.7 billion). This market has grown strongly over the past 15 years, multiplying by a factor of 16, representing a gain of more than €2.632 billion.
In the coming years, this market will remain buoyant and booming. According to forecasts, the organic formula market is even expected to exceed €4.5 billion by 2025.
Moreover, China consumes the most organic baby formula, with the country contributing two-thirds of the market share in value, worth 1.8 billion euros. This is a result of the image of organic food that resonates in the minds of Chinese parents as guaranteeing that formula is high-quality and natural. Europe represents 16% of this market.
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