Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Foodservice Takes Advantage of Organics

Organics for dinnerWith the increased interest in organic foods, many organizations are taking a look at switching from providing conventional foods to organic foods in their breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Costs for shipping keep rising, so business owners are looking at the most efficient way to provide a high quality product, and that way just may be organic.

Despite Risks, Organics Gain Ground in Foodservice

With food, fuel, labor and other costs on the rise, some operators are taking a second look at going organic.

That doesn’t mean consumer demand has diminished, however.Interest from operators looking to open organic restaurants continues to grow steadily, said Kevin Moll, chief executive officer of National Restaurant Consultants Inc., Denver.

“I’m going to guess that because of the organic-driving market, we have maybe 25% to 30% of our clients are now opening or involved in organic restaurants,” he said. “That’s almost a 40% increase over our organic clients from last year.”

Whether or not that translates to more sales of organic produce to foodservice is unclear, said Lloyd Ligier, vice president of business development for Pro*Act, Monterey, Calif.

“Even though consumers may be demanding organics, operators are thinking ‘I need to weigh the cost differential before I jump into this,’” he said. “People are rethinking organics. That’s not to say they’re getting away from them.”

Frank McCarthy, vice president of marketing for Bridgeport, N.J.-based Albert’s Organics said his company has seen strong foodservice demand.

“Demand has grown about 20% year over year due to growth in the lunch counter/deli business at independent natural food stores, colleges and universities and gourmet restaurants,” he said.

Higher-end restaurants could suffer in this economy, he said.

“We have yet to see any weakness, but I would imagine that there is some risk in the gourmet restaurant sector,” he said.

Read the entire story

No comments: