Top 5 Focus Points for The Organic World In 2022
By Gaurav Manchanda, Founder & Director, The Organic World
The last two years have heralded a heightened focus on health and wellness and consequently, accelerated the demand for a clean, chemical-free, lifestyle across homes in urban India. As consumers grow more aware and realise the importance of making informed decisions when it comes to choosing products across key touchpoints in their lives, we at the Organic World have identified 5 focus points for 2022 that reinforce our commitment as a Responsible Retailer and continue to empower our customers with ‘better choices’.
Offer the widest range of certified organic fruits and vegetables: According to the FMCG industry report, the demand for fresh fruits and vegetables is expected to grow annually by more than 8% CAGR for the next 5 years. Consumers are gradually realising the importance of switching to fruits and vegetables that are grown using organic farming methods with zero chemical pesticides, GMOs and chemical fertilisers. There have been several studies that have suggested the link between chemical pesticides and adverse health effects.
At The Organic World, we source our fruits and vegetables from our own organic farm network. All our fruits, vegetables and greens are 100% chemical-free and certified organic. Over the next year we plan to continue adding to the wide range of fruits, vegetables and greens we offer thereby expanding the already existing pool for our customers, across our stores as well as online.
Continue to build on our ‘Not In Our Aisle’ List: In alignment with the brand’s promise to facilitate better choices, we set an industry benchmark last year with the launch of the ‘Not In Our Aisle’ List. It features 25 harmful ingredients commonly found in conventional groceries – that have been banned from the shelves of The Organic World. We arrived at this first-of-its-kind list based on extensive research, which identified ingredients such as parabens, sulfates and trans-fat, which are commonly found in conventional products across categories – food staples, snacks, home care, personal care, and wellness. Studies have linked these ingredients with possible adverse health effects. We at The Organic World have taken the stand to ban these ingredients from our store, thereby ensuring all our products are a healthier alternative. By ensuring the products we keep on our shelves live up to a higher standard than industry-established ones, we truly offer customers better choice products.
In 2022, we will continue to ensure the products and brands we align with our ‘Not In Our Aisle’ List standards as well as looking at further reviewing and enhancing our list to make it easier for customers to embrace healthier, cleaner, and sustainable choices across categories and product ranges that are part of their monthly consumption basket. I would go as far as to say that we want to move the needle when it comes to the results of the Access to Nutrition Initiative in India Index. Back in 2020, the industry audit revealed that only 16% of the assessed products met the required health standards.
Continue to drive processes and a store design that focuses on sustainability: We have always believed that the entire value chain must evolve if we are to ensure minimal harm to the environment. To this effect, one of the things we have actively focused on is to source our fruits & vegetables from organic-certified farms that follow only organic and sustainable farming practices that impact the environment positively. In 2022, this is only set to grow in terms of both volume and our network of partner farms.
I believe hyper-local shopping experiences will continue to define how customers perceive brands and their purpose in the post-pandemic world. Back at our stores, we will look for newer ways to leverage technology and innovation to further our sustainability commitment. Already, we have a dedicated zero-waste section across stores to reduce the usage of plastics and our carbon footprint. Initiatives such as redirection of unsold organic perishables for cow fodder, an electric fleet for last-mile delivery, and sustainable materials for packaging and store setups will continue to be a priority through the year. Across the last few months of 2021, we launched four stores in Bengaluru whose store design focused on maximizing customer convenience as well as sustainability, and this will continue to remain a key focus area for us.
Empower customers to choose better, more easily: Despite the growing level of awareness and education about the need for chemical- and preservative-free products, and the benefits offered by organic products, consumers across a majority of micro-markets in urban Indian cities find it challenging to make better choices. Either they don’t have easy access to authentic organic groceries, or if they do, they have to make do with a limited range.
As India’s largest multi-brand retailer for organic and natural groceries and a full-basket grocer with 2000+ chemical- and preservative-free products, we want to empower more and more consumers to get past the challenges and adopt a chemical-free and cleaner lifestyle. To this effect, 2022 will see us partnering with more brands who are aligned to our vision, including smaller brands that are committed to offering better choices.
In our quest to make all our products, including freshly-harvested, GMO and chemical-free fruits and vegetables, organic and natural kitchen essentials like atta dal and rice, toxin-free home cleaning essentials, natural & organic beauty & personal care products and chemical-free wellness essentials available across several more hyper-local markets in the country, we will strengthen our omnichannel presence as well as our supply chain. Right from launching more stores to considering the franchise route as well as optimizing our website and app for a superior shopping experience, the year will see us making it easier for more Indian homes to go chemical-free.
Reinforce our commitment as a responsible retailer: Responsible retailing, essentially, entails being transparent with customers as well as weighing their best interests over short-term financial profits and growth, and creating an ecosystem that benefits all the stakeholders involved. This commitment has been at the heart of every endeavour at The Organic World. Be it facilitating farmer-consumer interactions to strengthen trust at both ends, or creating intelligent processes that ensure only clean products make it to our shelves, we have been actively upping the action on the responsible retail front.
In 2022, we aim to reinforce our commitment as a responsible retailer towards all stakeholders, and thereby, positively impact communities and the environment. Technology will be a key facilitator, helping us establish more authenticity for our products while making them accessible for a lot more homes. The year will also see us making dedicated investments to incorporate blockchain technology to build a traceability solution for our supply chain and sourcing network.
In a nutshell: 2022 is going to be a transformative year. At The Organic World, we are excited about strengthening our back-end operations as well as expanding on our front-end experiences to set new benchmarks – not just for the organic & natural groceries category, but for the retail industry at large. I strongly believe that as a community, we are at the cusp of a transformation as we gradually move away from compromised chemical-laden choices to cleaner and more mindful consumption.