The Coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in demand for organic food ingredients this year, according to our joint-MD, Tasneem Alonzo.
This Organic September, organic alternative flours, global herbs and spice blends, and seasonings for vegan foods are flying off the shelves as consumers seek out organic replacements for sweet and savoury foods, dishes, snacks and accompaniments.
Baking has been a huge trend during lockdowns and as a result, flours derived from ancient grains such as quinoa, spelt, teff, millet have experienced a welcome boost as shoppers look for alternative, healthy ingredients for baked goods. Organic alternative flours such as gram, buckwheat, coconut, almond, and rice flour, have all been popular choices, especially as they make tasty, convenient substitutes to wheat flour when baking sweet or savoury goods.
Our most popular organic herb and spice blends over the last year include sriracha, ras el hanout, harissa, dukkah, za’atar, baharat, ghormeh sabzi, as well as taco spice mixes, BBQ blends and curry powders. These all work well as meat, fish or vegetable rubs and marinades, and we put the surge down to outdoor eating and BBQs due to restrictions on meeting indoors, coupled with a growing interest in world foods and new flavour combinations.
Vegan, plant-based and meat-free dishes are still booming, and the number of prepared fresh, frozen and ambient foods in this category is increasing with each season. Herb and spice blends for vegan sausages, burgers, kebabs, falafels, patés and pastes, soups, snacks and crackers, pizzas and pasta dishes are flying as manufacturers strive to create innovative, flavourful foods for those cutting down on meat or adopting a full plant-based diet.
While we are still in a global health crisis, British consumers are becoming even more mindful in their food choices and opting for organic food ingredients to ensure they are eating a healthy balanced diet and taking care of their wellbeing. The pandemic has increased consumer awareness of the relationship between nutrition and health, and organic foods that are perceived to boost immunity – such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, as well as almonds, seeds, herbs and spices – are often considered safer and more nutritious than their conventional versions.
We’re expecting many of the habits adopted during lockdowns and the pandemic to remain and it seems organic food is definitely one that will stick as concerns for safety, quality and health still prevail. With more at-home cooking, as well as more eating out now, consumers are craving a sense of escapism and looking to experiment with different flavours, textures and ingredients, and organic herbs and spices tick many of the boxes for consumers, food manufacturers and foodservice operators.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak we have definitely had higher demand for organic and clean label ingredients than in previous years. Alongside this increased demand, we are also dealing with staff shortages, the fallout of the ‘pingdemic’, the HGV driver crisis, lockdowns in different countries, increased admin due to Brexit, and the overall supply chain disruptions that are affecting the whole UK food industry. We’re hoping steps will be taken to take the pressure off the food industry, especially in the run up to the busy Christmas season.
Organic September, a national campaign by the Soil Association, is the UK’s biggest celebration of all things organic. Consumers are looking for innovative, quality foods, flavours and textures in the organic aisles and our herbs and spices allow food manufacturers, caterers and consumers to create authentic, tasty, organic international food products.
Contact us to find out more about our range of organic ingredients.