Nutiva, the world’s leading brand of organic hemp, coconut oil, and chia seed, said Thursday demand for coconut oil and a global shortage of chia seed is making it difficult keeping the products stocked for customers.
The Oxnard, Calif.-based company, founded in 1999, sells its products through 15,000 retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
Nutiva said North American demand for coconut oil has jumped threefold in just the last 60 days. While there is no shortage of organic coconuts, Nutiva explained there is a “bottleneck” in receiving shipments of organic coconut oil supplies.
“Nutiva has secured a large number of containers and is expecting to ramp up production,” the company said. “We anticipate that coconut oil will be in tight supply over the next several months.”
Meanwhile, a fivefold increase in North American demand for chia seed in just the past 180 days is being hit by a worldwide shortage due to in part to the impact of weather in regions where the food is grown.
“Dr. Oz’s megaphone may be stronger than the many South American countries’ ability to meet this demand,” Nutiva said, referring to Dr. Mehmet Oz, surgeon, author and Daytime Emmy-winning host of The Dr. Oz Show, who called chia seed one of five key supplements people should eat.
Last year saw a poor crop yield in Paraguay, and this year’s crop in Peru has been flooded by La Niña rains, while Argentinian chia fields are experiencing hot, dry conditions.
Nutiva entered the chia market about 18 months ago and is now the leading supplier of certified organic seed.
“We are increasing our supply to meet this strong demand,” the company said. “We value your business and appreciate your understanding.”
Last month, Nutiva announced its entire product line was now 100 percent USDA-certified organic. Nutiva said it has grown at a 42 percent annual rate since 2005, is on track to double its sales this year over 2011, and expects to achieve its $100 million-a-year sales target before 2015.
Nutiva donates 1 percent of every sale to organizations promoting sustainable agriculture. In 2011, the company gave over $200,000, and the company expects to donate more than $300,000 in 2012, including $50,000 for labelgmos.org, an organization dedicated to passing California’s November 2012 initiative that will require the labeling of genetically engineered foods in the state.