In the US, consumer demand for organic products is spilling into more categories. The move is spearheaded by younger consumers seeking sustainable options, including strange products like beer made with organic barley and rice.
“Shoppers consistently relate that they choose organic because they believe the product to be ‘better for me and my family,’” said Angela Jagiello, director of education and insights at the Organic Trade Association, Washington.
“In 2019, Organic Trade Association led one of the largest-ever consumer research projects on behalf of organic. Shoppers told us that they value the fact that more than 700 chemicals are prohibited in organic, the strong standards and enforcement that underpin the USDA organic seal, and that they believe organic agricultural practices can play a role in mitigating climate change.”
For several years, the Organic Trade Association has credited millennials for driving growth in the organic market, particularly as members of the generation become parents and increase organic purchases.
Sales of organic products in the United States reached $52.5 billion in 2018, up 6.3% from the previous year, according to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey by the OTA Organic food sales increased 5.9% to $47.9 billion, outpacing total food sales growth at 2.3%.
Produce remains the largest organic category, representing more than 36% of all organic food sales, according to the OTA. In 2018, sales of organic fruits and vegetables increased 5.6% to $17.4 billion, while sales of all fruits and vegetables, including organic and conventional products, rose 1.7%. Organic fruits and vegetables comprise nearly 15% of all produce sold in the United States. Carrots, greens, apples and bananas remain popular picks in the organic section, while organic berries, mangos, papayas, avocados, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are gaining steam.