Sales of organic products in the Unted States jumped to $35.1 billion in 2013, up 11.5% from the previous year’s $31.5 billion, according to the latest survey on the organic industry from the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
Consumers are making the correlation between what we eat and our health, and that knowledge is spurring heightened consumer interest in organic products,” said Laura Batcha, executive director and CEO of OTA.
OTA’s Organic Industry Survey is the most accurate and comprehensive quantitative picture of the organic industry available. It was conducted and produced by Nutrition Business Journal. Over 200 companies responded to the survey, which was conducted this year from January 27 through April 4. Companies gave data on revenues reported, sales growth, revenue by product and sales channel breakdowns. For information on how to purchase the full report, go to www.ota.com.
Organic food sales in 2013, at $32.3 billion, accounted for roughly 92% of the total organic sales. Non-food organic products—including flowers, fiber, household products and pet food—are currently a very small part of the total organic market. Sales of non-food organic products, at almost $2.8 billion, have jumped nearly eight-fold since 2002, and have almost doubled in market share.
Organic consumers 4% of total population
A niche industry in the huge food sector just a decade ago, consumer purchases of organic food first broke through the $30 billion mark in 2012 and now account for more than 4% of the $760 billion annual food sales in the United States. More telling, the growth rate of organic food sales, which has averaged almost 10% every year since 2010, has dwarfed the average annual growth of just over 3% in total food sales during that same period. (see market share report on France from may 27, specifically on eggs)
Fruits and vegetables in the lead
A product breakdown of the organic food sector shows that the fruit and vegetable category continue to lead the sector with $11.6 billion in sales, up 15%. With more than 10% of the fruits and vegetables sold in the United States now organic, the $1.5 billion in new sales of organic fruits and vegetable represented 46% of the organic sector’s $3.3 billion in new dollars.
Organic fast food is a winner in the USA
The relatively small organic condiments category posted the strongest growth, at 17%, to reach sales of $830 million. Also showing double-digit growth were the organic snack food sector, up 15% to $1.7 billion; organic bread and grain sales up 12% to $3.8 billion; organic meat, poultry and fish sales up 11% to $675 million, and the rapidly expanding organic packaged and prepared food sector up 10% to $4.8 billion.
Just two categories of the organic food sector showed single-digit growth rates. The $4.9 billion dairy sector grew by 8%, and sales of organic beverages slowed to a 5% growth rate to around $4 billion.
Supply lacks behind the demand
But as demand for organic continues to boom and accessibility to organic products increases, the industry is facing some critical challenges. Farmland in the United States is not being converted to organic at the pace needed to meet the growing demand for organic. Supplies of organic feed and organic grain have been tight and costly, which could limit growth especially in the organic dairy and meat sectors.
Clear labeling is required
There is also a lingering confusion among consumers about just what organic means. The message of the organic can be lost next to the presence of “natural” products and the long debate around GMOs.
“The entire organic industry needs to rally around helping consumers better understand and appreciate all the values that certified organic brings to the table,” said Batcha. “Consumer education is critical to grow the organic industry,” she added.
Read more: on www.organicnewsroom.com
For more information contact Barbara Haumann (+1-802-275-3820)