Organic Trade Association Releases 2021 Organic Industry Survey; Organic Sales in Total Near $62 Billion
WASHINGTON, DC - Organic consumption reached a new high in 2020, as a report from the Organic Trade Association announced that sales jumped 12.4 percent to $61.9 billion.
This record high, the association noted in its 2021 Organic Industry Survey, marked the first time that total sales of organic food and non-food products have surpassed the $60 billion mark. On top of this already exciting stat, that growth rate is more than twice the 2019 pace of 5 percent.
“The pandemic caused abrupt changes in all of our lives. We’ve been eating at home with our families, and often cooking three meals a day. Good, healthy food has never been more important, and consumers have increasingly sought out the organic label. Organic purchases have skyrocketed as shoppers choose high-quality organic to feed and nourish their families,” stated Laura Batcha, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association.
Understandably, fresh produce led this healthy eating charge. According to the report, fresh organic produce sales rose by nearly 11 percent in 2020 to sales of $18.2 billion. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables also jumped—frozen sales alone rose by more than 28 percent. In total, the sales of organic fruit and vegetables in 2020 were $20.4 billion.
The Organic Trade Association made a note that more than 15 percent of the fruits and vegetables sold in the United States now are organic. That’s a pretty significant piece of the produce pie!
“The only thing that constrained growth in the organic food sector was supply,” said Angela Jagiello, Director of Education and Insights for the Organic Trade Association, who spearheads the coordination of the survey. “Across all the organic categories, growth was limited by supply, causing producers, distributors, retailers, and brands to wonder where numbers would have peaked if supply could have been met!”
She also noted that because of the pandemic, not only were ingredients taxed, but packaging—bottle lids, pouches, corrugated cardboard—was in short supply as were workers and drivers to transport product. This made it more difficult for producers to ramp up processing to meet consumer demand.
As we contemplate what organic growth we’ll see in 2021, Batcha noted that 2020 may have changed some aspects of the industry for good.
“We’ve seen a great many changes during the pandemic, and some of them are here to stay,” said Batcha. “What’s come out of COVID is a renewed awareness of the importance of maintaining our health and the important role of nutritious food. For more and more consumers, that means organic. We’ll be eating in restaurants again, but many of us will also be eating and cooking more at home. We’ll see more organic everywhere—in the stores and on our plates.”
This year’s survey was conducted early in 2021 from January through March and was produced on behalf of the Organic Trade Association by Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). Nearly 200 companies completed a significant portion of the in-depth survey.
If you are looking for access to the report, click here.
We’ll continue to see how consumers respond to the need for organic, especially as post-pandemic life becomes the norm. In the meantime, keep reading AndNowUKnow.