Transitional Farms Spur Organic Farm Growth

Transitional Farms Spur Organic Farm Growth

The availability of organic foods continues to increase exponentially. Yet, despite double-digit growth in consumer demand for organic foods every year since the 1990s, organic acreage has not kept up, according to the U.S.D.A. In fact, less than 1% of U.S. farmland is certified organic. (Food Business News) So, how can the supply begin to meet the demand? It all comes back to needing more organic farms. This proves to be more complicated than one might think, as a farm must undergo a process that requires meeting USDA Organic standards for three years before qualifying to convert from conventional to organic. This causes a lot of economic uncertainty for farmers, but some companies are taking steps to incentivise them.   Kashi’s “Certified Transitional” program guarantees that certain products will utilize grains for transitional farms, in hopes to convert more farms to organic throughout the country. The Dark Cocoa Karma Cereal utilizes wheat from transitional farms exclusively, and Kashi continues to integrate more transitional ingredients into more products. The packaging design doesn’t differ much from other products from the brand, but the mark for “Certified Transitional” is proudly displayed along with “Non-GMO” and “Fair Trade” certifications. In 2015, Clif Bar made an agreement with one of its growers to transition their farm from conventional to organic, offsetting the cost by agreeing to purchase the crops for seven years after receiving organic certification. The company also bought the farm’s “transition period” crops. Bigger companies like White Wave Foods and Costco are reported to be following suit by utilizing transitional ingredients, so we are likely to see more foods labeled as “Certified...
Trends Spotted in the Netherlands

Trends Spotted in the Netherlands

Ever wonder what the inside of a shop inside Amsterdam looks like? Now you can get a little taste! Our intern Sydney took a trip to the Netherlands recently, and she took some snaps of awesome packaging that she saw. Here are a couple trends she spotted abroad. JUST ADD ______   There were a lot of pre-packaged goods that combined ingredients for ready made drinks and snacks. Teas with sweetener loaded onto a spoon waiting to be mixed into a cup of hot water were a favorite. “Festival in a Bottle” was an innovative way to add some excitement to a plain bottle of liquor with dehydrated fruits and spices. And for a delightfully simple mix-it-yourself refreshment, there were kits that included everything you’d need for a fresh gin & tonic.     QUITE THE CHARACTER The Dutch are embracing bright and bold colors, in contrast the modern packaging we typically see in the States. These eye-catching hues were seen in shelves all over stores. There were chocolate bars that sported vibrant, contrasting patterns that worked together in perfect chaos. In addition, there were a lot of whimsical illustrations and characters – even in products that aren’t necessarily marketed toward children. The shifty eyes on bottles of Karma Kombucha couldn’t be ignored when walking past the refrigerated section!      IN THE SPIRIT OF TRANSPARENCY One trend that’s clearly a hit across cultures is transparency – both in the literal, visual execution of packaging solutions, but also in the key messaging that brands are sending. The desire to eat “clean” has spurred a movement that pushes companies to lay everything out on the table – particularly ingredients. It...
The Growth of Nut and Seed Butters

The Growth of Nut and Seed Butters

Peanut butter is a classic protein packed snack that’s versatile enough to be combined with just about anything. For a long time, it was the only kind of nut butter that people knew of. With constantly evolving consumer dietary needs, we’ve seen a boom in “butters” made from all kinds of different nuts and seeds. Here are a few aspects of this growing category that brands are taking into account: Source PRESENTATION The demand for peanut butter alternatives has resulted in an influx of “butters” made from ground almonds, cashews, pistachios and more. Often at a higher price point, it is common to see companies touting the healthy benefits of their product. Nutraw’s pistachio butter features packaging that is more elevated than what you might associate with a typical peanut butter jar, reflecting the minimal ingredients (stripped down to just pistachios, coconut oil and vanilla). Similarly, butters are increasingly being made from seeds – even ones you may not have ever thought to eat. Sunflower and pumpkin seed butters have been heralded as friendly options for consumers with nut allergies. Watermelon seed butter is unconventional yet intriguing. Sakara’s version appeals to consumers based on its aesthetic alone. The cream colored product is complemented by equally clean packaging, suggesting its simplicity and quality. Source INCLUSIONS Inclusions and unique flavors set brands apart in this ever growing category. Sesame seed butter is traditionally known as tahini, a main ingredient in hummus, but it’s making its way more and more into the butter category. Ilka’s Chai Sesame Butter appeals to create a more memorable and unique experience when spread over toast or fruit. Big Spoon Roasters also offer various nut butter flavors, like Espresso and Vanilla...
Interact Category Specialists: Cookies & Candy

Interact Category Specialists: Cookies & Candy

As consumers grow more health-conscious, one might think that the cookie and candy category has seen its heyday. But has it? A revolution of alternative solutions for how we satisfy sweet cravings is underway – be it for advanced palates, discerning sweet tooth’s, or health conscious foodies.   GROWN-UP FLAVOR PROFILES As candy and cookie lovers have grown up, so have their tastes! With more adventurous palates, consumers are leaning toward sweet foods with exotic and complex tastes, often with contrasting flavors such as sweet, spicy and salty. These unexpected flavors are coming from all directions. Big brands like Toll House, Oreo, and Ghirardelli are releasing flavors like blueberry lemon, jelly donut, and bourbon caramel. Smaller brands like Little Secrets, Chuao and Smash Mallow now offer flavors like pumpkin pie, spicy maya and lemon chia seed.     PREMIUM SWEETS Sharper looking brands excite and inspire consumers by standing out in busy retail environments. As this category becomes more competitive, innovative sweet brands must not only provide solutions for a limited retail space, but also tell more of a story than their CPG counterparts. Small batches and niche followings give premium bakers and confectioners the flexibility to try new things without much risk. The demand for premium sweets is at an all-time high, with provenance and origin being key to their stories. We are seeing plenty of brands are adapt to consumer desires through elevated product positioning.   BETTER-FOR-YOU INDULGENCE Ultimately, consumers want to have their healthy food and eat their cookie, too. If you ask the average person whether he or she wants to eat healthier, the answer is almost always yes. However, not everything associated with cookies is trending toward Crossfitters and marathoners....
Sports Drinks Go Organic

Sports Drinks Go Organic

Fluorescent colored, sugar laden beverages are typically what come to mind at the mention of a “sports drink”. Marketed as electrolyte replenishments for active lifestyles, big players like Gatorade and Powerade have dominated the category for the majority of the time that sports drinks have been on the market. The consumer demand for organic, “cleaner” options has started opening up this category in some interesting ways.    (Source) To keep up with the movement, Gatorade started offering an organic line, pared down to just 7 ingredients. While it may appeal to some consumers in their audience looking to go organic, Gatorade has drawn some criticism with their G Organic line of drinks for its high sugar content, with each 16.9-ounce bottle of G Organic carrying a whopping seven teaspoons of added sugar – more than the six-teaspoon daily limit recommended by the American Heart Association (New York Times). This is by no means the only organic sports drink option available today; this space is opening up for healthier options with more natural ingredients.   (Source) LIV Organic seems like a Gatorade alternative, using brown rice sugar and agave nectar for sweetener, among other organic ingredients. It retains the well known structure of a sports drink – the ribbed bottle for easy gripping, and a colorful shrink sleeve. For a consumer looking to make a transition from conventional to organic, this is a friendly and recognizable way of marketing.      (Source) 1051 at first glance seems to competing in the vitamin water space. However, the brand is focused on hydration and performance. Born in a Southern California organic cafe, the “electrolyte and mineral infusions” promises low sugar content and...
Press // Phin & Phebes

Press // Phin & Phebes

  “Phin and Phebes started as a regional brand in Brooklyn, NY and made a name for itself with unique and surprising flavors. When the potential to become a national brand presented itself, Phin and Phebes partnered with Interact to help bridge the gap from the small cult followings of Brooklyn into an approachable, mainstream consumer brand that still had soul.”   We’ve been recognized by The Dieline for our work on the Phin & Phebes ice cream rebrand. Check it...