The people behind the Non-GMO Project have a lot to celebrate this month. The non-GMO movement is becoming better organized and more consumers are demanding GMO labeling, as was evident during the Right2Know march that wound its way from New York City to the White House earlier this month.
A perhaps more significant sign of the success of the non-GMO movement—especially for the Non-GMO Project itself—can be seen in the sales trends for products labeled as non-GMO. From October 1 last year to October 1 this year, sales of Non-GMO Project Verified products grew to more than $1 billion, according to SPINS. This doesn’t account for products purchased at Whole Foods Market or Wal-Mart, so it’s safe to assume that sales were actually significantly higher than $1 billion. (Whole Foods’ popular 365 private-label line is Non-GMO Project Verified and contributes significantly to Non-GMO Project sales.)
Although sales of products carrying the Non-GMO Project label expanded a healthy 53 percent during this time period within the natural channel, sales within the conventional channel were up a staggering 328 percent, SPINS reports. “This was driven by Silk,” says Mary Ellen Lynch, director of consumer insights at SPINS. In July, WhiteWave Foods announced that it had achieved Non-GMO Project verification for all of the soymilk, coconut milk and almond milk products in its massive Silk brand portfolio.
Thanks in large part to Silk, refrigerated non-dairy beverages are now the single largest Non-GMO Project Verified product category, accounting for 33 percent of Non-GMO Project product sales between October 2010 and October 2011.
As Lynch told me, products carrying the Non-GMO Project seal have emerged over the last year in numerous new categories, including personal care. One can now find the Non-GMO Project label on everything from seafood to refrigerated condiments to skin care.
These statistics reinforce the perfect timing for newhope360’s Non-GMO Movement webinar on Oct. 27. The purpose of the webinar is to help educate natural products manufacturers and retailers on how they can support the non-GMO movement while growing their own sales and strengthening their customer relationships.
The webinar speakers are Nancy Coulter-Parker, director of content, education and research at New Hope Natural Media; Megan Westgate, executive director of the Non-GMO Project; Tyler Holm, director of marketing for WhiteWave’s Silk brand; and Debra Stark, owner of Debra’s Natural Gourmet.
After attending this one-hour webinar, manufacturers and retailers will:
- Be armed with the tools and information necessary to educate and communicate authoritatively to consumers on the GMO issue;
- Understand the investment, resources and processes required to certify products as non-GMO;
- And be ready to build a plan for removing or labeling GM products throughout the retail environment.
The webinar will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, Oct. 27. Registration is free. I hope you can attend.