What is in this article?:
In celebration of Delicious Living's 30th anniversary, here's a glimpse of how the natural health movement has evolved over the past few decades—and what's ahead.
Scaled up, same mission
Growth-wise, natural and organic foods still constitute only a fraction of overall food spending, and organic agriculture still contributes only 2 percent of the total U.S. food supply. Many experts predict the steep part of the growth curve lies ahead, as large conventional stores further embrace organic, driving the price down and making it more accessible. Walmart, for example, recently announced a plan to roll out a new line of reduced-price Wild Oats brand organic offerings; Safeway’s O Organics brand, launched in 2005, tallied $750 million in sales in 2012.
“The taste, quality, variety, packaging, and value of natural foods [have] improved to the point of near parity with conventional foods, so they’ve gained wider acceptance,” says Dobrow. “Additionally, ... Millennials have come of age with a holistic interest in natural foods but an indifference to where they are purchased.”
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Whether the products are sold at small-scale stores, big-box retailers, or even gas stations, natural products visionaries will be there to keep innovating, largely because of something that has not changed over the years: a mission to promote better health for people and the planet. “The vast majority of [natural and organic] companies are still purpose-driven companies doing much more than just launching a new food or personal care product or supplement,” Mast says. “They are trying to change the world.”