Organic produce sales experienced significant overall growth in 2020, according to a report from the Organic Produce Network (OPN) and Category Partners. The 2020 Organic Produce Performance Report shows that organic represented 12 percent of all fresh produce sales for the year. Organic sales saw double-digit growth and volume also increased 16 percent from the year prior.
“Organics sales were up 14.2 percent over 2019, topping $8.5 billion. That’s $1 billion more than was sold in 2019. As consumers were hunkered down during the pandemic, at-home eating became very prevalent in households across America. Organic fresh produce was part and parcel of what consumers were cooking,” said Matt Seeley, OPN CEO. “It was a banner year for organic produce industry sales.”
While all fresh produce sales and volume increased in 2020, organic demonstrated more substantial growth. Packaged salads, berries, and apples led the organic category in terms of sales. Bananas led all categories in overall volume, while herbs and spices led overall growth in sales and volume. Of the top-performing commodities, grapes actually declined by 6.1 percent in volume and six percent in sales.
The number of organic farms in the U.S. has also steadily been growing in recent years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. represents 62 percent of all certified organic operations globally. Americans are also continuing to increase their consumption of organic produce. The report breaks down national organic produce sales information into four geographic areas. Notable growth was again seen in all areas of the country.
“Of the four geographic areas, they all experienced double-digit growth in terms of sales and volume. The West continues to be the strongest area, but the South continues to grow in terms of consumer acceptance of organics. That’s a big, big shot in the arm,” Seeley noted. “Geographically, we all enjoyed the riches so to speak of increased organic sales across the nation.”