Investigation of Entrepreneurship Supply Chain Alternatives for Niche Crop Markets Grant uri icon


  • Consumers are becoming increasingly more educated about the nutritional value of the foods they eat. Studies indicate consumers are choosing more natural foods and also are seeking functional foods in today's market for healthier life choices and disease prevention. Innovation throughout the agriculture and food supply chain is necessary to meet the expectations of consumers and to provide a competitive advantage for producers of natural and functional food products.consumer sales of natural products--including everything from natural, organic, and functional foods and beverages to dietary supplements to natural & organic personal care and household products--increased 7.4 percent to 13 billion in new sales in 2016 (Nutrition Business Journal estimates). Industry sales are forecast to surpass the770 billion food industry was relatively stagnant.With such growth in the natural products industry, there are opportunities and need for bridging existing efforts across several disciplines and with industry. This project is focused on creating the foundation to substantiate the nutritional value of natural and functional food crops. It also is intended to identify the architecture of a viable, sustainable supply chain, from the fields of the farm to the hands of the consumer, aligning with the following Grand Challenge initiatives in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University:Improving Our Health: Foods for Health and Prevention of DiseaseGrowing Our Economy: SustainabilityFeeding Our World: Development of Nutritious Foods/Feed and EducationThe plan is to work within a transdisciplinary team among academia, the public sector, and the private sector (including key industry experts) to encompass the anticipated outcome of developing the supply chain architecture necessary for innovation and sustainability within the natural and functional foods industry.

date/time interval

  • 2018 - 2023