Nell Newman of Newman’s Own Organics is one of those people who earn your attention with her presence and message. Daughter of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward she has her father’s captivating blue eyes and her mom’s grace. What engages you after this first impression is her passion for helping people and our environment.
Nell’s blue eyes sparkle as she notes the significant growth in consumers buying locally grown organic food since the early days of this consumer trend sparked in no small measure by the start up of her Newman’s Own Organics business. The Organic Trade Association reports that U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Organic farmland now exceeds 5 million acres in 45 states.
Here are the six reasons consumers are buying local food:
Taste. Local food tastes better offering a richer and more complex experience. Intuitively, Nell Newman of Newman’s Own Organic has as her company’s motto “Great tasting food that happens to be organic.” Our bodies naturally crave the salts and sugars lacing processed foods but our palettes respond to variety and complexity. Imagine trying to eat one of those tomatoes on a fast food sandwich if the overall sandwich wasn’t loaded with artificial flavorings! Our tastes prefer heirloom tomatoes.
Cheaper! Why have the total number of farmer markets grown 400% percent? Consumers have discovered they can eat for less buying local! The slow food movement is challenging all of us (and the food industry) to budget $5 per meal by buying locally produced food.
Healthier. Super Size Me is a graphic video on what eating manufactured fast foods can do to your body. Emerging medical evidence is now documenting that eating processed foods is linked to our national diabetes epidemic. The Harvard School of Public Health has published a study that finds eating just two ounces of hotdogs per day increases the risk of diabetes by 50%! This study recommends
…that consumption of processed red meat—like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and deli meats, which generally have high levels of sodium and nitrites—should be minimized and unprocessed red meat should be reduced. If possible, they add, red meat should be replaced with healthier choices, such as nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish, or beans.
Job Growth. Buy Local creates local jobs. American consumers have $10 trillion of annual buying power, larger than China’s entire annual Domestic Gross Production. The American consumer, without any government policies or programs, has the ability to restore full employment through their purchases. For example, Americans will buy 13 million cars this year. If the American consumer bought 13 million American-made electric hybrid cars this act alone would reduce unemployment to 5% from today’s 9+%!
Greener. The average chemically grown and processed food travels 1500 miles to arrive on your plate. For example, one study in Iowa found that the milk, sugar, and strawberries that go into a carton of strawberry yogurt collectively journeyed 2,211 miles just to get to the processing plant. That is wasteful and unsustainable. Buy Local is lean in its manufacture and delivery. Buy Local is a key part of the solution for restoring our environment.
Profitable. What drew me to do a video interview with Nell Newman was her entrepreneurial leadership demonstrating that doing right by customers and the environment is a profitable business path. In this video Nell outlines the superior sale growth being achieved by organic food products even in the face of our current economy and the challenge (business opportunity!) of organic food supplies keeping pace with the growing demand by consumers for organic food. This is a must watch video for entrepreneurs as she outlines her business best practices including how she has linked her sales to charitable contributions that have propelled her brand, and others brands like Give Something Back, to industry-leading levels of consumer loyalty.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017 a company that crafts unique workshops that enable businesses to connect with customers seeking smart, healthy and green solutions. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles the best practices of businesses and entrepreneurs for making money and a difference. In 2011 he is implementing an 11-city coaching program called Green Builds Business that was created by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation with funding from Walmart that is helping local businesses create jobs, profits and community benefits.