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Organic Meat Is Better For You And Pasture-Fed Even Better Still
There has always been a strong belief that organic meat has more nutritional benefits than non-organic, for the first time ever this has been confirmed. Devon-based Eversfield Organic is delighted by the results of a ground-breaking study which has been published today, 16 February 2016, in the British Journal of Nutrition. The study shows that organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic.
Mark Bury, founder and director of Eversfield Organic, comments: “It is highly encouraging to see our organic farming methods being endorsed by new research. It backs up what everyone in the industry has thought for a long time.” Mark continues: “In addition to this latest research, we also believe that cattle and sheep should have a 100% grass fed diet, with no grain, and be produced in accordance with the standards of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association. Further research into this would undoubtedly prove even greater health gains.”
The Newcastle University-led international study is the most up-to-date analysis of published research into the nutrient content of organic compared to conventionally produced foods, synthesising the results of many more studies than previous analysis. It highlights that organically produced meat (especially beef) contains significantly higher concentrations of nutritionally desirable, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of two undesirable saturated fatty acids (myristic acid and palmitic acid), which are linked to heart disease. In addition to organic milk and meat, the nutritional differences also apply to organic dairy such as butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt.
There is a difference in omega-3 because organic animals eat a more natural grass-based diet containing high levels of clover. Clover is used in organic farming to fix nitrogen so that crops and grass grow (instead of manufactured/chemical fertilisers), and this research has found that clover also increases the omega-3 concentrations in meat and milk. Under organic standards, organic cows must eat a 60% fresh grass based diet or hay/silage (conserved grass). At Eversfield Organic the cows' diet is 100% grass fed.
Speaking about the research, Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association says: “This research confirms what many people have always thought was true - what you feed farm animals and how you treat them affects the quality of the food, whether it's milk, cheese or a cut of meat. These scientists have shown that all the hard work organic farmers put into caring for their animals pays off in the quality of the food they produce - giving real value for money.” Helen continues: “Organic farming methods require all organic farmers to adopt techniques that guarantee nutritionally different foods. Following research in 2014 confirming nutritional differences between organic and non-organic crops like fruit and vegetables – we can now say for certain that organic farming makes organic food different.”
Eversfield Organic is a family run business based on a 450-acre organic farm located in the heart of the Devon countryside on the edge of the beautiful Dartmoor National Park. It has been delivering the finest grass fed organic meat online to households throughout the UK for twelve years. The farm was bought by Mark Bury in 2002 to realise a long held family ambition with his son, Hamish, and daughter, Anna, to produce the best quality organic meat – meat which would come from the happiest of animals and fresh products which would be accessible for everyone. Mark, Hamish, Anna and their team are committed to ensuring that this is affordable to all and that home cooking organic produce is a reasonable and cost-effective option for people who are as passionate as they are about what they eat and where it originates from.
Setting itself apart from other farms, Eversfield Organic's cattle and lamb are certified pasture fed for life by the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association and are free to roam, ensuring that the quality and taste of its meat is carried from the rolling Devon fields to the plate. High animal welfare, with all the animals treated in a caring and stress-free way, is fundamental to the business. In addition, the organic grass fed beef is well hung for up to 28 days.
Gluten-Free Pizza Launches Soar 58% Globally Between 2012 And 2015
With National Pizza Days kicking off across the pond in the United States this week, it seems that around the world consumers may be looking to treat themselves to a less conventional slice of the American favourite.
Indeed, new research from Mintel finds that following consumer demand, the number of pizzas launched globally with a gluten-free claim soared 58% between 2012 and 2015. What's more, the number of pizza launches containing rice flour as an alternative ingredient to wheat increased from 78% to 90% between 2014 and 2015.
The rise in gluten-free pizza launches comes as a result of the growing demand for wheat alternatives, as one third (32%) of French, 28% of Polish and 22% of German consumers say they would like to see a wider variety of gluten-free pizza. In Italy this number increases to a staggering 44%, while over half (51%) of Spanish consumers say they want more gluten-free pizza options.
Yet while interest in gluten-free pizza varieties appears to have increased, just 2% of French, 3% of German, 3% of Polish, 5% of Spanish and 8% of Italian consumers actually bought gluten-free pizza in 2015.
Alex Beckett, Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, says: “With gluten-free having become something of a lifestyle choice in Western countries, especially among younger generations, it is no surprise that a growing base of consumers are buying into gluten-free pizza. However, as pizza is an inherently indulgent food, manufacturers need to magnify the quality appeal of their wheat-free pizzas and convince consumers that the taste and texture of wheat-free alternatives is akin to regular pizza.”
Mintel research indicates that innovation in lactose-free claims could be the next step for pizza launches. Almost half (47%) of consumers in Spain say they'd like to see a wider variety of dairy-free pizzas, followed by 39% of consumers in Italy, 31% in Poland, 30% in France and 20% in Germany.
While there is certainly a lot of activity going on in the global pizza market right now, what's surprising is that even though the US has held the crown as the most innovative pizza market for years, France now leads the way in retail pizza launch activity. Indeed, Mintel research reveals that France is responsible for the largest slice of pizza product innovation in 2015, accounting for 11% of all new pizza launches, up from 9% in 2011. Meanwhile, the global share of newly introduced pizza products in the US has almost halved over the same period; the US accounted for one in ten (10%) new pizza launches globally in 2015, compared to one in five (19%) in 2011.
What's more, whilst over one in four (28%) pizzas launched in 2011 came from North America, the drop in product innovation in this region means that overall North America accounted for just one in six (15%) pizza launches in 2015. Indeed, Europe dominated the sector in 2015 accounting for nearly two thirds (65%) of launch activity, up from 58% in 2011.
Whilst France held the highest proportion of launches (11%), this was followed by the US (10%), UK (10%), Spain (8%) and Germany (6%).
“It is unlikely that the US retail pizza sector will look back on 2015 with much fondness. With the economy looking brighter, consumers have been trading up and out of retail pizza, to more expensive delivery and foodservice options. As a result of this, and the rapid growth of fast casual pizza chains, frozen pizza makers have been under huge pressure in the region. In Europe, however, retail pizza brands have been investing in premiumisation to help compete with the threat from the out-of-home channel, therefore boosting launch activity,” Alex adds.
Whilst the US has been battling with consumers upgrading their slices for more foodservice options, there seems to be a growing opportunity in the premium tier of the retail market. Mintel research shows that nearly three in five (58%) US pizza eaters claim that they would buy more frozen pizza if it had more premium or gourmet ingredients, rising to 72% of 25-34 year olds. What's more, over half (55%) of US consumers agree that they'd buy more frozen pizza if it wasn't so processed.
Europe might hold the largest number of pizza launches, but it is the Asia-Pacific region which is the fastest growing market for pizza innovation. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for 11% of innovation in 2015, almost doubling since 2011 when this number stood at 6%. Furthermore, Mintel research reveals that the increased number of launches in the Asia-Pacific region in 2015 directly corresponds with a leap in microwaveable pizza launches. In 2013, three in ten (30%) new pizza launches in Asia-Pacific featured a microwaveable claim, before soaring to 58% in 2015.
“Increasing urbanization in developing markets is driving ownership of microwaves ovens – and with it the consumption of microwavable pizza. It is noticeable that many of the retail pizzas which have launched in Asia-Pacific in 2015 have sought to appeal to the specific tastes and needs of the country's consumers. As such, a number of Asian-based manufacturers offer toppings with a local flavour twist as part of their ranges, as demonstrated by a number of tom yum-flavoured sauces in Singaporean pizza launches in 2015, and roti bases emerging in Thailand.” Alex concludes.
New Year Health Drives Mean Growth For Grocery Market
The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel published for the 12 weeks ending 31 January, show the British grocery market returning to slow growth after a disappointing Christmas period, delivering a take-home sales increase of 0.2%.
While the overall grocery market’s growth has been slight, New Year health kicks have contributed to a strong performance across fresh foods.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “Consumers are clearly striving for a healthier start to the year and have turned to fresh foods – particularly fruit and vegetables, which have both grown sales by 5%. Given that they’re still experiencing like-for-like deflation it’s a significant revenue growth for both categories, shared across both traditional and discount retailers. Similar growth has been seen in nuts, fresh poultry and fish.”
For the first time since 2011 the Co-operative was the fastest growing non-discounter, increasing sales by 1.4%. The convenience-focused grocer grew its own-label sales by 7%, with sales up fastest in the fresh and chilled part of the store. The Co-operative is the most frequently visited major supermarket – their customers shopped there an average of almost 19 times over the past 12 weeks, compared with a market average of 11 visits. Its market share remains stable at 5.9%.
Meanwhile, recent trends at Aldi and Lidl continue. Fraser McKevitt explains: “Both the discount retailers saw their growth accelerate – Lidl to 18.7% and Aldi to 13.7%. Both saw their share of the market increase by 0.7 percentage points, with Lidl’s rising to 4.2% and Aldi’s to 5.6% – a dip from the 10.0% combined market share high they experienced at the end of 2015. We can expect both retailers to continue to take market share this year as they fulfil their plans for more outlets.”
Sainsbury’s increased its sales for the sixth period in row, growing by 0.6% with a resulting market share increase of 0.1 percentage points to 16.8%. Meanwhile Tesco showed signs of improvement – while revenues fell by 1.6% these are the best numbers posted by the retailer since September of last year.
At Morrisons, the sales decline lessened to 2.2%, while market share fell by 0.3 percentage points to 10.8%. The retailer’s revenues will continue to reflect its disposal of 140 M Local stores and the closure of some larger outlets through the rest of 2016. Asda’s recent announcement of renewed price cuts has not yet had time to materially affect its latest 12 week figures, with sales falling by 3.8% and share falling back to 16.2%.
While Waitrose’s market share remained static at 5.2%, sales increased by 0.1%. This makes it the 91st consecutive period of growth for the retailer – the longest current run of success for any supermarket.