As per The Business Research Company’s Ethical Food Global Market Report 2023, the global ethical food market size is expected to grow from $145.8 billion in 2023 to almost $280 billion by 2032 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1%.
There are multiple factors contributing to this rapid growth of the ethical food market in the forecast period but the main trend driving the market is the growing demand for sustainably packaged food. Some of the other major factors include the rise in awareness of the health benefits of organic food and expanding organic farming production methods.
The growing demand for sustainably packaged food to reduce the use of plastics is expected to support the growth of the ethical food market in the forecast period. Sustainable packaging refers to the sourcing, development, and use of packaging solutions that have minimal environmental impact and footprint. Consumers prefer sustainable packaging solutions over plastic packaging due to growing concern for the environment, thereby driving the growth of the ethical food market for ethical food that is sustainably produced. The companies engaged in ethical food are increasing their focus on sustainable packaging to reduce the use of plastics and be environmentally friendly.
For instance, Alter Eco, a US-based packaged food company, uses 100% recyclable or compostable plastic in all its products. Following the trend, packaging companies are also coming up with sustainable packing solutions for organic food and other products. Giro Pack, a US-based fruit and vegetable packaging manufacturer, has developed compostable welded bags and compostable net-clipped bags that are produced using plant-based or organic materials, such as pulp from eucalyptus trees or corn starch. Thus, the focus of ethical food companies on sustainable or green packaging is a major trend driving the ethical food market over the forthcoming years.
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What Is Ethical Food?
Ethical food refers to food that is produced with the welfare of people, the environment, and animals at the core during production. Eating ethically may include veganism and vegetarianism, consuming meat with high animal welfare standards, and consuming foods with the health and well-being of those who produce them in mind.
Ethical manufacturing and consumerism are developing with rising consciousness in the direction of sustainability and green principles globally. Ethical food is produced using sustainable ingredients, processes, and systems. The concept of ethical food relies on the three pillars of sustainable food production, which are economic viability, environmental protection, and social equity; also known informally as profits, planet, and people.
How Is The Ethical Food Market Segmented?
The ethical food market is segmented by type into organic and natural, fair trade, free-range animal welfare friendly and environmentally responsible, and sustainably produced. Organic and natural ethical foods are the largest segments in the ethical food market holding a market share of above 40%; whereas free-range animal welfare-friendly ethical foods are expected to be the fastest growing market segment in the forecast period with a compound annual growth rate of over 7.5%.
What Are The Major Players Of The Ethical Food Market?
The ethical food market is fairly fragmented, with a large number of small players. The top ten players in the ethical food market make up more than 13% of the total market. Nestlé S.A. is the largest competitor with almost 3% share of the market, followed by PepsiCo, The Kraft Heinz Company, General Mills, Inc., and Danone S.A.
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