American consumers have not had their fill of organic products yet. In fact, sales of organic products in the United States jumped to $35.1 billion in 2013, up 11.5 percent from the previous year’s $31.5 billion and the fastest growth rate in five years, according to the latest survey on the organic industry from the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
And the hunger for organic products is not expected to ease any time soon. The OTA survey projects that growth rates over the next two years will at least keep pace with the 2013 clip and even slightly exceed it.
“The U.S. organic market is experiencing strong expansion, with organic food and farming continuing to gain in popularity. 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 was conducted and produced by Nutrition Business Journal. More than 200 companies responded to the survey, which was conducted from January 27 through April 4. Companies gave data on revenues reported, sales growth, revenue by product and sales channel breakdowns.
Organic food sales in 2013, at $32.3 billion, accounted for roughly 92 percent of the total organic sales. Non-food organic products—including flowers, fiber, household products and pet food—are a very small part of the total organic market, but are making quick in-roads. 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.
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 percent 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 percent every year since 2010, has dwarfed the average annual growth of just over 3 percent in total food sales during that same period.