During the holidays, the lifestyle of many people can become a little excessive, which is then converted into a New Year's resolution: to eat healthier. Alongside drinking less alcohol and exercising more, this action item is often high on the list.
Apart from good intentions, healthy food generally deserves an important place in our lives. An additional advantage is that healthy food is often produced more sustainably, i.e. with a smaller CO2 footprint than peers that produce less healthy alternatives.
In this article I consider the opportunities of this theme for you as an investor, under the motto 'financially fit with your investments'.
A closer look at sustainable and healthy food
Research by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health shows that healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish and vegetable oils (to prepare food) reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Diseases such as cancer and diabetes are also less frequent in people who eat healthily, as is obesity.
Anyone who considers sustainability important can now find a growing range of food in the supermarket, whose production (and consumption) is done with respect for people, animals and the environment. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization calls these ‘sustainable food patterns' – defined as “food patterns with a low environmental impact, which contribute to food safety and health for current and future generations. Meeting the needs of the world's population means that there is sufficient, varied, healthy and safe food available and that it is fairly distributed'.
Robust growth of sustainable and healthy food market
Although the supply of sustainable and healthy food is growing steadily, there is still a lot to gain. Research and consultancy firm Research and Markets closely monitors the development of the market. In their Global Ethical Food Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact, Growth and Change to 2030 , they calculated that the sustainable (ethical) food market is expected to grow from US$542.84 billion in 2020 to US$574.42 billion in 2021 And the growth continues. In 2025, the market is estimated to be US$727.86 billion, as shown in the overview below. That equates to a growth rate of 6% per year.