Launches on ethical platform have almost doubled since 2008

Elaine Watson

June 10, 2011


The percentage of new foods and drinks launched with an ‘ethical positioning’ has almost doubled since 2008, despite the premium price tag often attached to these products, according to Innova Market Insights.

New products with an ethical positioning grew from 3.7 percent of new launches in the US in 2008 to 6 percent of introductions tracked in the first quarter of 2011, driven by a surge in sales of products certified by third parties such as the Fair Trade USA, the Rainforest Alliance and the Marine Stewardship Council, said head of research Lu Ann Williams.

“The US market accounted for 25 percent of all new global products tracked with a FairTrade positioning between April 10 and March 11, 2011, with an explosion in launch activity in the past two years. We reported a doubling in tracked US launches with the typically higher-priced FairTrade positioning from 2008 to 2010, the worst years of the current economic collapse.”

Products launched with claims such as ‘minimally processed,’ ‘locally sourced’ and ‘sustainable’ were also on the rise, while premium products continued to flourish, accounting for 14.2% percent of new products during the first quarter of 2011, compared with 8.4 percent in 2008, she added.

“Consumers are aiming to meet the demand for added-value encompassing better quality and offering a momentary escape in stressful times.”

Mintel: Green claims on 10% of new products

Mintel data covering global new food and drink launches also shows strong growth in products promoted as sustainable, with the percentage containing ‘green’ messages rising from a handful in 2005 to well over 10% of new products in 2009.

The percentage of new products containing natural claims ( ‘no artificial colors/flavors/preservatives/additives’ etc) rose from just over a quarter of new launches to well over a third over the same period.

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