Think your organic pretzels would sell in a snap? This growing natural foods niche might just prove you right.
Getting fresh has never seemed more appealing. Organic foods—particularly in the niches of producing snacks and the specialty food stores that sell them—are showing great promise over the next few years. Organic snack foods accounted for 5 percent of the country's total organic food sales in 2009, according to the Organic Trade Association.
Business owners are noticing a higher demand for organic snack options across the country. "Especially in schools and corporations, where there's new workplace-wellness initiatives," says Jolly Backer, founder of Fresh Healthy Vending, a vending machine franchise that specializes in organic and natural snack products, based in San Diego, California. "Insurance companies are demanding that people eliminate the junk foods from vending machines to lower their insurance premiums."
There's no doubt that the obesity rate is on the rise and more children are being affected. With last years Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, the organic food industry has a chance to grow. According to Sageworks, sales growth figures for specialty food stores have grown from 1.53 to 5.92 percent. The barrier to entry is high, but not prohibitive enough to stop your organic crackers from landing on a Whole Foods shelf.
By the Numbers:
Annual sales percentage for organic snacks in 2009, according to the Organic Trade Association
Sales percentage change for other specialty food stores in 2009, according to Sageworks
Sales percentage change for other specialty food stores in 2010, according to Sageworks
Net profit margin growth (pre-tax) for other specialty food stores in 2010, according to Sageworks