Organic food and organic products in general continue to gain in popularity, according to a report by the Organic Trade Association.
Total sales for organic products rose above the $35 billion mark in 2013, with $32.3 billion coming from sales of organic food, 92 percent of the overall total. The $32.3 billion of sales of organic food now account for 4 percent of annual total food sales in the United States and sales of organic food are growing at a rate of 10 percent each year since 2010, dwarfing the 3 percent growth rate of all food sales.
“The U.S. organic market is experiencing strong expansion, with organic food and farming continuing to gain in popularity,” Laura Batcha, executive director and chief executive of the trade association, said in the press release. “Consumers are making the correlation between what we eat and our health, and that knowledge is spurring heightened consumer interest in organic products.”
The Organic Trade Association’s Organic Industry Survey was conducted and produced by the Nutrition Business Journal. According to the press release, the survey was conducted between January 27 and April 4 of 2014 and a total of 200 companies responded to the survey. Companies gave data on revenue, sales growth, and sales channel breakdowns.
A product breakdown shows that organic fruits and vegetables lead the sector with $11.6 billion in sales, and categories that showed over 10 percent growth include organic condiments, organic snack food, organic bread and grain, organic meat, fish, and poultry, and organic packaged and prepared food.
Just two sectors of the organic food industry showed single digit growth: Organic dairy and organic beverages.
Recently, Walmart announced that it was cutting prices on its organic products to make its organic selection more competitive with stores like Whole Foods, the latest sign that organic foods, once a niche industry, has become much more in demand.
The industry, however, is facing challenges that include the availability of organic farmland, the supply of organic feed and grain, and the confusion over just what “organic” means in the minds of consumers.
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