Data from Statistics Canada shows that annual retail sales of organic food and beverage products in Canada have increased 57% over the past five years and that consumers in this country now spend more than $5 billion a year buying organic products.
Two in three Canadians (67%) now spend at least some of their weekly grocery budget on organic items, up from about 50% in 2014. This despite the fact that organic grocery items tend to be anywhere from 20% to 60% more expensive than the same non-organic items, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
The rise in organic food sales extends across multiple categories – from fruits and vegetables to nuts and even desserts such as pies. When asked why they choose more expensive organic food items, the majority of Canadians (78%) cite "health benefits" as the main reason, according to a poll by StatsCan. Other reasons for the move towards organic include "fewer chemicals" and "better for the environment."
Grocery stores have been responding to the rise in consumer spending on organic food, with major Canadian chains such as Loblaws, Provigo and Metro stocking more all-natural items on their shelves. Organic foods market share through mainstream retailers in Canada rose from 1.7% in 2014 to 2.6% at the end of 2019.