Amid low commodity prices, many farms are exploring ways to diversify. One option: Build a side business by converting acreage to organic production and finding channels to serve consumers or other end users. If that describes you, new research by market intelligence firm Maru/Matchbox suggests you’ve tapped into rapid food-industry changes that will be driven by millennial shoppers—and potentially profitable for farmers.
More than two out of three (68%) of the oft-discussed millennial generation—which includes more than 80 million U.S. residents of working age— are willing to pay more for organic food, according to the February 2017 report, titled “The Future of Food: Are You Ready For The Millennials?” Other telling statistics about millennials:
- More than half (52%) of the oft-discussed millennial generation expects the food products they buy to be organic compared to 40% ages 35 to 49 and 27% age 50 and older
- 84% feel more health-conscious when they buy food with health claims such as organic and natural
- 82% say health claims including organic make it more likely they’ll purchase the product
- 81% say they feel more responsible when buying organic products
- 79% say it’s worth it to pay more for those features
“With millennials shaping the future of food, it is clear that what might now be considered premium will be the new normal moving forward,” the report notes. “Brands that don’t move into this territory can expect to see sales erode at an increasingly steep rate.”
As your farm considers branching into new ventures with profit potential, it might not hurt to consider how millennial buying habits will shape the food industry. Organic products could be one way to bring your farmgate a step closer to the consumer.