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Ethical Food and Beverage, Personal Care and Household Products in the U.S.; Conscientious Consumerism and Corporate Responsibility in the New Economy, 2nd Edition

Despite the economic downturn of 2008-2009, ethical grocery products are continuing to make headway in the market, especially when contrasted with the relatively flat market for conventional groceries. Indeed, by many accounts, consumer demand is steadily increasing for products that fulfill eco-friendly, natural, organic, local, humane, and fair trade criteria. Major marketers and retailers are increasingly tapping into this trend by offering more ethical products, upping their corporate responsibility efforts through energy-efficient “green” facilities and sustainable business practices, and increasing their associated cause-related marketing efforts.

Underpinning market advancement is ongoing strong consumer demand for products perceived to be healthier and safer. According to Packaged Facts’ February 2009 consumer poll, approximately one-fourth of U.S. adult shoppers frequently buy certified organic food or beverage products, and one-third are usually willing to pay more for organic foods—even in the midst of economic recession. Featuring exclusive consumer data from this survey, the report homes in on food and non-food purchasing trends as well as attitudes and demographic characteristics of ethical product purchasers.

Building on the analysis presented in the previous edition, the report also examines key issues and trends affecting the marketplace across two classifications—Foods & Beverages, and Non-Food Products—with the latter defined as encompassing personal care products (cosmetics, skin care, hair care, etc.) and household products (paper goods, diapers, detergents, cleaning products, light bulbs, etc.). Coverage includes historical and projected retail sales estimates from 2005 through 2014, case studies of key marketers and retailers, and trends in new product development and competitive positioning. Also covered are government regulations and certifying organizations, mergers and acquisitions, retail trends, eco-conscious demographic profiles, and international trends.

Additional data sources include Information Resources, Inc.’s InfoScan Review for the mass-market channel, Datamonitor Product Launch Analytics data tracking new product introductions, and Experian Simmons data profiling consumer attitudes and product purchasing behavior.

Read an excerpt from this report below.


Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


Natural Foods Channel Generates Almost Half of Retail Sales

Packaged Facts calculates that the natural foods channel—including national chains such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, as well as regional chains and independent natural food stores—generates 45% of total retail dollar sales of ethical grocery products. The mass-market channel—comprising conventional supermarkets, chain drugstores and mass merchandisers—follows at 35%. The prestige/pop prestige channel—which consists of health and beauty care (HBC) specialty store chains, cosmetic departments and boutiques in department stores, salons and spas—accounts for 6% of ethical product sales, with all other retail channels ringing up the remaining 14%. The “all other outlets” grouping encompasses bookstores such as Borders Books; home improvement and hardware stores such as Home Depot); home specialty store chains such as Bed, Bath & Beyond; office supply chains such as Staples; farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture (CSAs) ventures; and mail-order and Internet sales. [Figure 2-3]

Over 2,100 New U.S. Products Annually Bear Ethical Claims

According to Packaged Facts’ analysis of data from Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics (PLA) service, in both 2007 and 2008, over 2,100 new U.S. product launches carried ethical claims. Between 2005 and 2008, the number of ethical products brought to market grew by 88%. During the first seven months of 2009, non-food launches carrying ethical claims actually exceeded food and beverage launches, although in the full years of 2007 and 2008 food and beverage launches represented 64% and 61%, respectively, of total ethical product debuts. In analyzing the PLA data, Packaged Facts considers as ethical any product that uses one or more of the terms “biodegradeable,” “cage free,” “earth-friendly,” “eco-friendly, “ethical,” “fair trade,” “humane,” “local,” “locally,” “organic,” “organically,” “sustainable” or “sustainably” in its product description or marketing positioning. [Table 2-7]

Specialty and Department Stores Strong in Personal Care

Specialty stores and department stores are strong in the ethical personal care products arena. These stores encompass retail chains that specialize in dedicated ethical product lines such as The Body Shop and Aveda, cosmetics shops such as Sephora that offer beauty products from a wide range of marketers, and department store cosmetics departments, the traditional bastions of prestige cosmetics lines. As noted in the “Non-Food Products” chapter, Packaged Facts calculates that department stores, health and beauty care specialty chains (including single-brand retail stores such as The Body Shop, Aveda and Bath & Body Works, as well as cosmetics specialty chains like Sephora) and salons and spas comprise a 29% retail dollar share of ethical personal care product sales. These stores are not a significant factor in ethical food and beverages or household products, however.

In the News


Despite Recession, the Market for “Ethical” Consumer Products Remains Healthy

New York, October 5, 2009 The market for products positioned and marketed on the basis of ethical standards (eco-friendly/green, natural/organic, humane, and fair trade) is thriving despite the recession, reveals a new report by leading market research publisher Packaged Facts.

Based on data from a proprietary survey, the recently released Ethical Food and Beverage, Personal Care and Household Products in the U.S.; Conscientious Consumerism and Corporate Responsibility in the New Economy, 2nd Edition, indicates that one-fourth of U.S. adult shoppers frequently purchase certified organic food or beverage products and one-third are usually willing to pay more for organic foods.

“With the economy foremost in consumers’ minds, heightened price sensitivity in the midst of the current recession is inevitably having an effect on the market for ethical products,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. “However, our survey indicates that more shoppers understand the environmental, social, and economic implications of their choices. The result is a sizeable number of consumers who will purchase typically more expensive ethical products even in economically challenging times.”

The U.S. market for ethical products has annually grown in the high single- to low double-digits over the past five years, according to the report. Packaged Facts forecasts the growth rate will persist despite the recession and the market will approach $62 billion in 2014, up from a projected $38 billion in 2009.

Foods and beverages dominate retail sales of ethical consumer products in the U.S., accounting for nearly 75% of retail dollars through all channels in 2009.  Non-food products—mainly personal care and household products—represent the remaining quarter.  However, through 2014, Packaged Facts projects that non-foods will grow at a considerably faster pace than food, with an 80% versus 57% growth rate. Nevertheless, non-foods will still represent a smaller portion of the overall market.

Tapping into the trend are major marketers and retailers who are offering more ethical products, upping their corporate responsibility efforts through energy-efficient “green” facilities and sustainable business practices, and increasing their cause-related marketing efforts. Meanwhile, supermarket chains are entering the fray by developing private-label lines of organic foods and natural household products.

Ethical Food and Beverage, Personal Care and Household Products in the U.S., 2nd Edition analyzes the attitudes and demographic characteristics of ethical product purchasers through the examination of key issues and trends affecting the marketplace across two classifications—foods & beverages and non-food products—with the latter defined as encompassing personal care products (cosmetics, skin care, hair care, etc) and household products (paper goods, diapers, detergents, cleaning products, light bulbs, etc). Coverage includes historical and projected retail sales estimates from 2005-2014, case studies of key marketers and retailers, and trends in new product development and competitive positioning.

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products.  Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. 

  • Executive Summary
    • Scope & Methodology
      • Focus on Food and Non-Food Products
      • Report Methodology
      • Key Ethical Issues
    • International Trends
      • Organic Agriculture More than Doubles
      • Ethical Consumerism Mostly in Developed Nations
      • Ethical Consumerism Strong in the U.K.
      • Global Ethical Product Launches Top 5,100
    • U.S. Market Size and Composition
      • Retail Sales of Ethical Products at a Record High
      • Food and Beverage Classification Dominates Retail Sales
      • Natural Foods Channel Generates Almost Half of Retail Sales
      • Market Outlook
    • Competitive Overview
      • Top Ethical Product Marketers
      • Acquisitions Yield Consolidation, Credibility Issues
      • The Most Ethical Companies and Brands
      • Over 2,100 New U.S. Products Annually Bear Ethical Claims
      • Organic, Natural Lead New Product Claims
      • Natural Supermarkets Set the Pace
    • Consumer Overview
      • Three Out of Four Consumers Believe Companies Should Act Ethically
      • Over One-Third of Shoppers Willing to Pay More for
      • Financial Setback Spur Doing the Right Thing
  • Market Overview Highlights
  • Market Overview
    • Scope & Methodology
      • Scope of Report: Focus on Food and Non-Food Products
      • Report Methodology
      • Key Ethical Issues
      • Definition of Organic Strictly Regulated
      • No Set Definition for "Locally Grown"
      • Humane Treatment of Animals
      • No Animal Testing/Cruelty-Free
      • Fair Trade or Ethically Sourced
      • Green/Eco-Friendly
      • Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
      • Governmental and Non-Governmental Criteria and Certification
    • International Trends
      • Organic Agriculture More than Doubles Since 2000
      • Ethical Consumerism Mostly in Developed Nations
      • Global Consumer Attitudes and Actions
      • Ethical Consumerism Strong in the U.K.
      • U.K. Fair trade Sales Exceed USA's
      • Carbon Footprint Labeling
      • Global Ethical Product Launches Top 5,100
        • Table Global Number of Ethical Product Launches, 2005-2009
      • U.S., U.K., Germany and Canada Lead in Ethical Product Launches
        • Table Top 10 Countries by Number of Ethical Product Launches, 2005-2009*
      • The Body Shop and Hain Celestial Out Front in Ethical Product Introductions
      • Organic and Natural Are Top Global Ethical Claims
        • Table Top 20 Global Marketers by Number of Ethical Product Launches, 2005-2009
      • New Global Product Notables
    • U.S. Market Size and Composition
      • Retail Sales of Ethical Products at a Record High
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Products, 2005-2009 (in millions of dollars)
      • Food and Beverage Classification Dominates Retail Sales
      • Natural Foods Channel Generates Almost Half of Retail Sales
    • Market Outlook
      • Impact of Recession
      • A Greener Administration
      • LOHAS: A Potent and Growing Consumer Base
      • Consumers Expect Corporate Responsibility
      • Consumers Willing to Pay More for Sustainability
        • Table Consumer Price Index for Food at Home, Personal Care Products, and Housekeeping Supplies: 1999-2009
      • Major Corporations Getting More Involved
      • Greenwashing Rampant
      • Consumers Need More Proof for Green Claims
      • Cause Marketing Takes Off
      • Retailers Pressuring Suppliers Along Ethical Lines
      • Legislative Changes in the Works
      • Healthy Sales Growth Projected Through 2014
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Products, 2009-2014 (in millions of dollars)
    • Competitive Overview
      • Top Ethical Product Marketers
      • Acquisitions Yield Consolidation, Credibility Issues
      • The Most Ethical Companies and Brands
      • Over 2,100 New U.S. Products Annually Bear Ethical Claims
        • Table Number of U.S. Ethical Product Launches, 2005-2009
      • Organic, Natural Lead New Products Claims
      • Marketers Reduce Packaging's Environmental Footprint
      • Natural Supermarkets Set the Pace
      • Ethical Becoming an Essential Competitive Thrust for Supermarkets
      • Opportunity Too Good for Mass Merchandisers to Miss
      • Specialty and Department Stores Strong in Personal Care
      • Alternative Distribution Channels
    • Case Study: Safeway, Inc.
      • Safeway Moves to Lifestyle Formats
      • Ethical Private Label and Other Product Initiatives
      • Safeway and Sustainability
    • Case Study: Walmart Stores, Inc.
      • Walmart Goes Sustainable
      • Success, Controversy, and Green Initiatives
      • More Ethical Products
      • Transforming Marketers
      • Walmart's Sustainable Packaging Scorecard
      • Next Up: Sustainability Index
      • Greener Stores
      • Corporate Giving
      • Higher Ethics Expected of Suppliers
    • Case Study: Whole Foods Market
      • Company Returns to Its Roots
      • Growth Strategy
      • Ethical Convictions and Capitalist Growth Principles
      • Ethical Initiatives
    • Consumer Overview
      • Methodology: Experian Simmons Is Primary Source
      • Three Out of Four Consumers Believe Companies Should Act Ethically
        • Table Demographic Segments Most and Least Likely to Agree It Is Important a Company Acts Ethically, 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
      • Over One-Third of Shoppers Willing to Pay More for Eco-Friendly Products
        • Table Demographic Segments Most and Least Likely to Agree They Would Pay More for Environmentally Friendly Products, 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
      • Ethical Consumers Come in Shades of Green
      • Consumers and Sustainability
      • GMA-Deloitte Green Shopper Study
      • Financial Setback and Doing the Right Thing
        • Table Ethical Consumption Psychographics: Premium Consumers by Change in Financial Situation, Q3 2008 to Q1 2009 (percent)
  • Food & Beverages Highlights
  • Food & Beverages
    • Market Trends
      • Market Definition
      • Four Key Ethical Issues Affect Food and Beverages
      • Definition of "Organic"
      • No Set Definition for "Locally Grown"
      • Humane Treatment of Animals
      • Fair Trade Practices
      • Sustainable Agriculture
      • Hormone-Free
      • Genetically Modified Ingredients Widespread
      • CSR and Corporate Sustainability in the Food Industry
    • Market Size and Composition
      • Ethical Food and Beverage Retail Sales Near $28.2 illion in 2009
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Foods and Beverages, 2005-2009 (in millions of dollars)
      • More than Three Out of Four Ethical Foods Carry an "Organic" Claim
      • Sales of Organic Foods and Beverages Pace the Market
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Organic Foods and Beverages, 2005-2009 (in millions of dollars)
      • U.S. Retail Sales of Fair Trade Foods and Beverages
        • Table Global vs. U.S. Retail Sales of Fair Trade Foods and Beverages, 2005-2008 (in millions of euros)
      • Produce and Dairy Are Largest Ethical Categories
      • Natural Foods Channel Leads Retail Sales
    • Market Outlook
      • Obama Administration Brings Changes
      • More Consumers Choose Ethical Food Shopping
      • Organic Foods and Beverages Going Mainstream, But Growth Is Slowing
        • Table Consumers Who Frequently Buy Organic Foods and Beverages, February 2009 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Organic Foods and Beverages Carry a Price Premium
      • Consumers Willing to Pay More for Organic Foods and Beverages
        • Table Consumers Who Are Willing to Pay More for Organic Foods and Beverages, February 2009 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Organic Farming Takes Root
        • Table U.S. Certified Organic Acreage: 1992, 2000, 2003 and 2005
      • A Glut of Organic Supplies?
      • Local Foods Gain Interest
      • Consumers More Attuned to Humane Treatment of Animals
      • Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance Awareness Gain Momentum
      • More Dairies Going Hormone-Free
      • Few Consumers Understand GMO
      • Cause-Related Marketing
      • Corporate Sustainability Goals
      • Ethical Foods and Beverages Sales Will Top $44 Billion in 2014
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Foods and Beverages, 2009-2014 (in millions of dollars)
    • Competitive Trends
      • Global Marketers, Investors Control Many Top Brands of Ethical Foods and Beverages
      • Corporate Buyouts Continue
      • Organic Line Extensions Not So Successful
      • Private-Label Ethical Products Booming
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • More than 1,300 New Products Bear Ethical Claims
        • Table Number of U.S. Ethical Food and Beverage Launches, 2005-2009
      • Organic and Natural the Most Popular Claims
        • Table Ethical Claims by Number of U.S. Ethical Food and Beverage Launches, 2005-2009
      • Tea Category Leads in Ethical Products
        • Table Number of Ethical Food and Beverage Launches by Product Category, 2005-2009
      • Private Label Leads Product Introductions
        • Table Top 15 U.S. Marketers of Ethical Foods and Beverages by Number of Product Launches, 2005-2009
      • More Marketers Ally Themselves with Social and Environmental Causes
      • Reducing Carbon Footprint
      • Traceability as a Consumer Marketing Strategy
      • Celebrity Endorsements: Are They Credible?
      • Mainstream Marketers Extending Brands with Organic Varieties
      • Cage-Free Eggs Making Inroads
      • Sustainable Meat and Seafood
      • Locally Grown Mostly a Retail Strategy
      • Growing Their Own-Chickens
      • Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance Certification
      • Targeting Ethical Parents through Kids
      • Growth in Bottled Water Drying Up
      • Reduce - Reuse - Recycle: Packaging Goes Eco-Friendly
    • Case Studies
      • Clif Bar & Company-Raising the Ethical Bar
      • Contessa Premium Foods, Inc.-Green Cuisine
      • Frito-Lay North America, Inc.-Jumping on Social Trends
      • Case Study: Frontier Natural Products Co-op
      • Newman's Own, Inc.: Dedicated to Philanthropy
      • Stonyfield Farm, Inc.-A Model for Corporate Responsibility
    • The Consumer
      • The Experian Simmons Consumer Survey
      • One out of Four Consumers Looks for Organic/Natural Foods
      • West Coast, Northeast and Metro Consumers More Likely to Buy Organic/Natural Foods
      • Higher Levels of Education and Income Characterize Consumers
      • Asian-Americans Skew High
      • Youngest Shoppers Resist Organic/Natural Foods, But Small Households Score High
        • Table Demographic Overview for Consumers Who Look for Organic/Natural Food (Any Agree), 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
        • Table Demographic Overview for Consumers Who Look for Organic/Natural Food (Agree a Lot), 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
        • Table Demographic Overview for Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe's Shoppers, 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
      • Affluent Consumers and Organic/Natural Foods
        • Table Affluent Consumers: Largest Demographic Blocs, Q3 2008 to Q1 2009 (percent, number and index)
        • Table Affluent Consumers: Top Demographic Indicators, Q3 2008 to Q1 2009 (percent, number and index)
        • Table Agreement Among Affluent Consumers with Statement, "When Shopping for Food, I Especially Look for Organic or Natural Foods": Overall and by Recent Change in Financial Situation, Q3 2008 to Q1 2009 (percent and index)
  • Non-Food Products Highlights
  • Non-Food Products
    • Market Trends
      • Focus on Ethical Personal Care and Household Products
      • Key Ethical Issues Affecting Non-Food Products
      • Natural or Organic vs. Synthetic
      • Cruelty Free-Not Tested on Animals
      • Biodegradable, Recycled and Recyclable
      • Sustainable Sourcing
      • Fair Trade and Ethically Sourced
      • CSR and Corporate Sustainability in the Personal Care and Household Products Industries
      • NSF/ANSI 305: The First Organic Standard for Personal Care Products
      • No Regulated Standards for Most Household Products
      • Green or Eco-Friendly Household Products Share Many Similar Attributes
    • Market Size and Composition
      • Retail Sales of Ethical Non-Foods to Top $9.7 Billion in 2009
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Non-Food Products, 2005-2009 (in millions of dollars)
      • Ethical Personal Care Products Grow to $8.1 Billion
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Personal Care Products, 2005-2009 (in millions of dollars)
      • Ethical Household Products Sales Soar to $1.6 Billion
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Household Products, 2005-2009 (in millions of dollars)
      • Personal Care Products Dominate Ethical Non-Food Sales
      • Natural Foods Channel Rings Up Almost Half of Retail Sales
      • Retail Sales of Organic Non-Food Products Top $1.6 Billion
    • Market Outlook
      • More Americans Determined to Go Natural, Organic, Green
      • Green Non-Foods Weathering the Recession Well
      • More Consumers are Going Green
      • Product Safety and Personal Health a Driving Factor
      • Pop-Prestige Chains Buoy Personal Care Product Sales
      • Product Performance Key
      • Mainstream Marketers Joining the Market
      • Fierce Competition for Shelf Space
      • H1N1 Flu Could Dampen Growth of Green Household Products
      • Retail Sales Will Surpass $17.5 Billion by 2014
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Non-Food Products, 2009-2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • Ethical Personal Care Sales Will Top $13.6 Billion in 2014
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Personal Care Products, 2009-2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • Ethical Household Products Will Approach $3.9 Billion in 2014
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Ethical Household Products, 2009-2014 (in millions of dollars)
    • Competitive Trends
      • Ethical Non-Food Marketers
      • Hundreds of Personal Care Marketers, Only a Few Dozen Majors
        • Table Top 10 Marketers of Natural/Organic Personal Care Products by Retail Sales and Percent Share of Total Retail Sales, 2006 vs. 2008 (in millions of dollars)
      • Few Natural Personal Care Marketers Cross Over to Mass-Market Channels
      • Mainstream Household Products Marketers Muscle into Ethical Arena
      • Growth Through Acquisitions
      • Private Label Aplenty
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • New Non-Food Products with Ethical Claims Rising Rapidly
      • Natural Surpasses Organic as Leading Ethical Claim
      • Soap Is Leading New Product Category in Ethical Non-Foods
      • The Body Shop Leads Marketers in Launches
        • Table Number of U.S. Ethical Non-Food Product Launches: 2005-2009
        • Table Top 10 Ethical Claims by Number of U.S. Ethical Non-Food Product Launches: 2005, 2008 and 2009 (number)
        • Table Ethical Claims by Number of U.S. Ethical Non-Food Product Launches, 2005-2009 (number)
        • Table Number of Ethical Non-Food Launches by Product Category: 2005-2009 (number)
        • Table Top 10 U.S. Marketers of Ethical Non-Food Products by Number of Product Launches: 2005-2009 (number)
      • Better for the Environment, Better for You
      • Price and Performance Are Key Parts of the Marketing Equation
      • Ethical Products Through Green Chemistry
      • Natural and Pseudo-Natural Personal Care Products Proliferate
      • Personal Paper Goods an Environmental Conundrum
      • Green Household Products Surging
      • Other Green Household Products
      • Concentrated Formulas
      • Household Products Come Clean on Ingredients
      • Are Green Paper Products Going Mainstream?
      • Seeing the Light with Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
      • Marketers Embrace Cause-Related Marketing
      • Fair Trade Claims Will Increase in Personal Care Products
      • Sustainability Is Building
      • Private Label Goes Ethical
    • Case Studies
      • The Body Shop Under L'Oréal
      • Clorox Co. Goes Green with Burt's Bees and Green Works
      • Kimberly-Clark Launches Natural Paper Products
      • Marcal Paper Products LLC: Rising from the Ashes
      • Seventh Generation Fights Back
      • Tom's of Maine Under Colgate
    • The Consumer
      • The Packaged Facts Consumer Study
      • Half of Those Surveyed Use Natural HBC
      • But Only a Third Say It's Effective as General-Market HBC
      • Relatively Few Plan to Spend Less on Natural HBC
      • Burt's Bees the Most Popular Brand By Far
      • The Experian Simmons Consumer Survey
      • Nearly One-Third of Women Never Buy Cosmetics Tested on Animals
        • Table Selected Above Average Demographics for Consumers Who Never Buy Cosmetics Tested on Animals (Any Agree), 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
      • 37% of Consumers Buy Recycled Paper Products
        • Table Selected Above Average Demographics for Consumers Who Buy Recycled Paper Products (Any Agree), 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
  • Appendix - Addresses of Selected Marketers and Retailers

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