Ethical Food Market

SKU: DMFB3993 | Last Updated On: Dec 02 2022 | Available Formats

> Global Ethical Food Market Expected to reach a high CAGR By 2029: DataM Intelligence

Ethical Food Market is segmented By Type(Organic and Natural, Free-Range Animal Welfare Friendly, Environmentally Responsible and Sustainably Produced, Fair Trade and Others), By Distribution Channel(Online and Offline) and By Region (North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa) – Share, Size, Outlook, and Opportunity Analysis, 2022-2029


Market Overview:

The Global "Ethical Food Market" is predicted to reach a high CAGR 4.7% during the forecast period (2022-2029).

Ethical food refers to food and beverages produced using sustainable ingredients, processes and systems, and are non-polluting, economically efficient, safe for workers, consumers, and communities. Ethical food uses a method of food production wherein the people, animals and the environment are given considerable importance. Broadly, ethical foods embraces attributes such as natural, environmentally responsible, sustainably produced, animal welfare friendly and fair-trade. Ethical production and consumerism are growing with rising awareness towards sustainability and eco-friendly concepts globally.

Ethical Food Market Scope



Market CAGR


Segments Covered

By Type, By Distribution Channel, and By Region

Report Insights Covered

Competitive Landscape Analysis, Company Profile Analysis, Market Size, Share, Growth, Demand, Recent Developments, Mergers and acquisitions, New Product Launches, Growth Strategies, Revenue Analysis, and Other key insights.

Fastest Growing Region

Asia Pacific

Largest Market Share 

North America

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Market Dynamics:

Growing environmental concerns to drive the market growth

The recent climate changes and environmental issues such as carbon emission, global warming, plastic, and food waste is forcing companies to concentrate on sustainable products. The rising environmental concerns are shifting companies and shoppers towards ethical/ sustainable-certified products. According to Our World In Data's statistics on the environmental impact of food published in January 2020, food accounts for around 26% of the global greenhouse emissions, with half of the world's habitable land used for agriculture and 70% of the freshwater used for agriculture. According to a survey of 1000 adults by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC foundation) in 2019, 54% of the consumers responded that the products they buy to be produced in an environmentally sustainable way. Therefore, the growing impact of food production on the environment and the growing demand for sustainable food is increasing companies to focus on sustainable production which in turn is expected to drive the demand for the ethical food market in the forecast period.

Sustainable packaging is a leading trend adopted by ethical food manufacturers and producers. The companies engaged in organic food production are increasing their focus on sustainable packaging in order to reduce the use of plastics and go environment friendly. For instance, Alter Eco uses clean packaging for its produce and the plastic packaging used for outer boxes are recyclable. Following the trend, packaging companies are also coming up with sustainable packing solutions for organic food and other products. Giro Pack developed compostable welded bags and compostable net clipped bags that are produced using plant-based or organic materials such as pulp of eucalyptus trees or corn starch. Thus, the focus of ethical food companies on sustainable or green packaging is a major trend shaping the ethical food market over the forthcoming years.

However, the high cost of ethical food limits the growth of the market during the forecast period. The production and sales of ethical food include the cost of natural fertilizers, high labor, ethical or sustainable certification, and others which raises the overall cost of production. According to a new study commissioned by ethical certification, 45% of the people in the UK put off buying ethical products owing to their high cost. The high cost of ethical food makes it inaccessible to a larger population, thereby hindering the growth of the market during the forecast period.

Market Segmentation

Increasing demand for eco-friendly products boosts the segment growth

Several recent studies in the U.S. and UK suggest that customers observe whether organizations behave in an environmentally responsible manner and these observations influence their decisions to purchase. Thus, environmental responsibility can result in beneficial commercial results due to customers shifting to or being loyal to organizations, judge as environmentally responsible. The desire to satisfy consumers' environmental concerns is prompted several organizations to adopt environmentally marketing standards and sustainable production.

On the other hand, free-range animal welfare-friendly segment is expected to grow with a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. Animal welfare is of considerable importance to European consumers. Nowadays food quality is not only determined by the overall nature and safety of the end product but also by the perceived welfare status of the animals from which the food is produced. The fact that improving the animal’s welfare can positively affect product quality, pathology, and disease resistance also has a direct bearing on food quality and safety.

Geographical Penetration

Europe is the largest market for ethical food

In developed countries of Europe, where per capita income is high, people are ready to pay more for labeled products than other developing countries. Label providing information about fair labor measures in workplaces became a substantial concrete effect on sales of labeled items. Sales of labeled brands rose by around 10% by labels are applied, between 16-33% when label is combined with price markups of 10-20%. On the other hand, the brands' market shares rose by 20-41% when labeled and offered at a price premium. Various ethical product labels are now standard in cafes, stores, and supermarkets in Europe and allow for a mainstream form of politicized consumption. Moreover, the European Commission is assessing how best to lower the environmental impact of food production and to limit waste throughout the food supply chain. By 2020, it aimed to reduce the food chain’s resource inputs by 20%, through incentives for more sustainable food production and consumption. United Kingdom is expected to dominate the Europe ethical food market, owing to rising vegan population. According to the Vegan Society, the number of vegetarians and vegans has quadrupled since 2014 to 600,000 and forecasts show and will make up a quarter of the UK’s population by 2025.

Competitive Landscape

The global ethical food market is competitive with key players such as Bimbo Group, Illy, Ingredion Incorporated, Kellogg’s, Mars Incorporated, PepsiCo, and Starbucks. Key players are adopting strategies such as mergers, acquisitions and product launches to gain significant share in the market. For instance, In September 2018, Kraft Heinz Canada announced the acquisition of the assets of Ethical Bean Coffee for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition is expected to expand Kraft Heinz Canada’s product offerings and global presence to serve a large number of consumers worldwide.  In February 2020, Illycaffe S.p.A, an Italian coffee company frontrunner in sustainable quality, has been recognized by Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

COVID-19 Impact: Pandemic had a positive impact on global ethical food market

The spread of coronavirus has had a positive impact on the global ethical food market as the sales of organic food products rose significantly in 2020. The concerns associated with animal-origin of virus and threat of virus transmission through meat products led the consumers towards sustainable plant-based foods. Organic Market Report – 2021 published by Soil Association Certification highlighted a 12.6% growth in the U.K. organic market, valuing it at USD 3.85 billion in 2020. Also, fairtrade certified products witnessed traction among consumers. According to the Ethical Markets Report published by Ethical Consumer Research Association, fairtrade purchases in U.K. increased by 15% in 2020. Pandemic is likely to impose a long-lasting impact on consumers towards ethical consumerism.

However, the market has witnessed severe disruption in terms of food processing, availability of raw materials and logistics support during the lockdowns implemented across the world.

Trending Topics

Vegan Cheese Market

Dairy Market


What is the Growth Rate of the Ethical Food Market?

The market is growing at a CAGR of 4.7%.

What Companies Are Included in the Ethical Food Market?

Illycaffe Spa, Ingredion Incorporated, Kellogg's Company, Mars, Incorporated, Starbucks Coffee Company, Februdairy.

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