Organic fruit powders booming for US supplier

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Organic food

Illinois-based supplier FutureCeuticals is building its organic lines in response to ever-surging demand for organic products in the US.

Organic versions of blueberry, raspberry, cherry powders and an oat bran powder have been added to its list of organic offerings that already includes pomegranate, cranberry, noni and acai.

New standards have also been developed for existing ingredients.

With the Organic Trade Association (OTA) predicting the sector will be worth $23bn by year’s end and growing at a double digit rate year-on-year, suppliers like FutrueCeuticals are responding in kind.

President Jeff Van Drunen told the company’s organic ingredient business accounts for about 20 percent of its overall business, and had grown at 20-25 percent for the decade the company has been active in the organic field.

Organic ingredients were typically 20-25 per cent more expensive than their conventional counterparts, he said. This had changed little in 10 years.

“We now have 1200 acres in Illinois, 500 acres in California as well as contractors,” ​Van Drunen said.

The company produces its own fertilizer, which it said helped it overcome one of the biggest hurdles in organic production – keeping enough nitrogen in the plants.

“We have our own composting methods which helps us keep quality up and the plants healthy,”​ he observed.

In a statement, Van Drunen said: "We have overcome some of the major challenges of organic production by taking an active role in actual organic fertilizer production, educating our growing partners, working diligently to be a leader in organic pest control practices and utilizing proper crop rotation methods.”

FutureCeuticals organic ingredients are used in functional foods such as cereals, bars, meal replacements, smoothies as well as dietary supplements.

Van Drunen said the company’s organic ingredients business was worth between $5-10m.

"The growth in organic nutraceuticals is a true grass roots trend,” added​ Hartley Pond, FutureCeuticals vice president of technical sales.

“Customer response to FutureCeuticals organic line has been significant. The end consumers at the local health food stores really started driving this market and it has evolved into several high tech organic brands servicing this demand. We currently see organic nutraceuticals gaining acceptance in the mass market as more and more consumers insist on high quality organic products and supplements."

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