Sustainable from a very early age – the market for organic infant formula is growing.

Fresh, natural and requiring minimal preparation – parents increasingly favour a diet that is as natural as possible and opt for foods that are grown organically, especially for their children. The organic share of the global baby food market has risen sharply in recent years.

Foods that are grown as naturally as possible are booming. There is a growing interest in natural produce –"urban gardening" is one case in point. In New York, London and Zurich, high above the rooftops of our major cities and small towns, thousands of tiny gardens are appearing. These balcony boxes and raised beds even produce the best in organic quality – plum tomatoes, red and yellow peppers and potatoes to name but a few.

Organic products: purchasing motives and behaviour

People have always found natural products appealing. The results of a largescale consumer survey of 30,000 people in over 60 countries conducted by the international market research institute Nielsen were therefore hardly surprising. Respondents cited freshness, natural ingredients and minimal processing as the most desirable features of good food.

But when it comes to organic infant formula there is more to consider than these three important factors. The value chain is the main focus for buyers. Key motives include animal welfare, environmental protection, the preservation of biodiversity, but also altruistic ways of acting such as unselfishness, self sacrifice and internalised moral attitudes.

An increasing preoccupation with nutrition is reflected in the sales growth of organic foods. The global market for organic products reached the USD 90 billion mark in 2017 and is still growing. The worldwide share of organic baby food is also impressive: a total of 723 new baby food products were launched last year, around 283 of these in the organic segment.

Consumer behaviour, attitudes towards the environment and eating habits change from generation to generation, or sometimes even faster. But one constant remains: parents want to provide the best for their children, to give them a good start in life.

Consumer awareness and understanding of nutrition is increasing. The entire value chain can play an important role in food purchasing decisions.