By Thierry Malleret, economist and founder, Monthly Barometer
By Thierry Malleret, economist and founder, Monthly Barometer

A big issue to watch is the extent to which changing/healthier eating habits will affect the future of the food industry – an issue that we’ve addressed on several occasions in the Wellness edition of The Monthly Barometer.

Organic, non-GMO products have ceased to be niche and are now growing three times as fast as their conventional counterparts. This month’s acquisition of White Wave Foods by Danone’s in a $10.4 billion takeover is the latest prominent manifestation in the flurry of M&A deals orchestrated to adapt to the fast-rising trend of wellness eating habits – consumers demanding simpler, less processed, more natural products. And in the U.S., this is leading to an over-performance in the share price of small organic or high-quality food companies.

One thought on “MARKET INSIGHT: Healthier Eating Habits Rewriting the Food Industry”

  1. Silk, So Delicious, Vega, Horizon Organic and International Delight are hardly natural, less processed, healthful or simple than fresh foods. These are processed foods. They are likely plant based – but processing takes up a lot of energy and resources. White Wave has been excellent at marketing its products and itself. But one has to wonder, if this is mostly marketing. Danone itself – a huge company with interesting marketing has been sued successfully for its advertising and marketing of Activia. The class action suit required that Danone remove " clinically and scientifically proven" to resolve digestive issues and to foster the promotion of the immune system. Both DanActive and Activia claimed that special bacterial ingredients were scientifically proven to help strengthen immune systems and regulate digestion. Both of these yogurts sell at a 30% premium over other yogurts according to the judge involved in the case. According to Dr. Roshini Rajapaks, a gastroenterologist this has not been proven. The attorney who represented the class action suit stated that "descriptive advertising has enabled Dannon to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ordinary yogurt at inflated prices to responsible, health-conscious consumers."

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