Organic Food Sales in Europe to Rise

February 22, 2011

European sales of organic food and drinks will rise by 8% this year, predicts market researcher Organic Monitor.

European sales of organic food and drinks will rise by 8% this year, predicts market researcher Organic Monitor.

“A spike in investment activity is expected in the European organic food industry as market growth rates rise and capital becomes more accessible,” it states. It points to a number of mergers, acquisitions, and investments now happening in the European organic space.

“Although large companies are mainly investing, small-to-medium-sized firms are also expanding in the improving economic climate,” it says.

For instance, U.S. natural and organic food company Hain Celestial recently acquired two food companies-Danival, a leading French producer of organic foods, as well as GG Unique Fiber, a Norwegian natural foods company. Besides Europe, the company also has it sights set on Asia, Organic Monitor says.

Another major deal involves French organic food company Léa Nature, which has invested in Ekibio, a manufacturer and distributor of organic foods.

“Organic Monitor expects more such investment activity,” it stated in a press release. “Royal Wessanen is tipped to acquire more organic food companies in 2011. The Dutch firm has been divesting companies in North America so it can focus on the organic food industry in Europe. Its recent divestment was Panos Brands to a private equity firm in December.”

In the United Kingdom, it says, a number of supermarket chains are eyeing Abel & Cole, a home-delivery service for organic products. Meanwhile, organic food company Green & Black’s may be subject to a management buyout.

“Unlike North America, there remain a large number of small-to-medium firms in Europe. With healthy growth rates resuming and more capital becoming available, more deals are on the horizon,” Organic Monitor says.