Following a record 2019, the importance of the organic sector continues to rise as shoppers reach for healthy, clean food to feed their families during the global pandemic.
According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA) ‘Organic Industry Survey 2020′, organic food sales reached a record $50.1 billion in 2019, up 4.6% on 2018 and outperforming the general market growth rate of around 2% for total food sales. Organic fruit and vegetables, the stars of the sector, grew by nearly 5%, while organic dairy held its own, growing at a rate of almost 2% (versus a 0.2 % growth in the conventional dairy market). Despite being the smallest organic food category in 2019, organic meat, poultry and fish saw the highest growth at almost 10%.
This growth trend has continued through 2020, as organic food is proving to be the food of choice for home. In an OTA flash poll of more than 3,000 “likely organic shoppers” in late April and early May, more than 90% of respondents indicated that in their current food shopping, organic is more important than ever. 93% said that they prioritize organic when buying produce, with animal-based products (dairy, followed by meat) especially popular.
There are signs are that that the popularity of organics will continue. SPINS, a leading provider of retail consumer insights, analytics and consulting for the natural, organic and specialty products industry, believes that shoppers will increase their purchase of products that boost immunity and gut health, such as yogurt, kombucha and mushrooms, as they focus on protecting their health and taking preventative measures for the future.
Sustainability will also grow in importance, SPINS says. According to Tony Olson, SPINS’ owner and CEO, “Don’t be surprised if shoppers weigh environmental health alongside their personal health by factoring in sustainability. Sustainable packaging and animal welfare were already growing consumer trends and that hasn’t waned since the start of quarantine.”
Read more about the growing importance of organic.
And find out more about organic’s sustainability credentials.