Organic sales hit a new milestone in 2020, reaching a sales value of $61.9 billion. The figure represents a 12.4 percent increase over 2019, according to a report from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). By comparison, the growth rate in sales between 2018 and 2019 was five percent. It marks the first time for double-digit sales growth since 2015. A major contributor to increased organic sales was the impact that COVID-19 had on consumer habits.
“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,” OTA CEO and Executive Director, Laura Batcha said in a press release. “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.”
Organic sales surged in 2020 in every category. OTA’s Organic Industry Survey found that domestic organic food sales increased by nearly 13 percent, hitting a new record of $56.4 billion. Nearly six percent of all food sold in the U.S. in 2020 was certified organic. Fresh organic produce sales totaled $18.2 million, marking a nearly 11 percent increase. Sales of organic frozen, canned, and dried products totaled $20.4 billion in 2020. OTA indicated that more than 15 percent of all fruits and vegetables sold in the U.S. are now organic. The smallest organic categories of meat, poultry, and fish also increased by nearly 25 percent to $1.7 billion.
Sales of organic non-food products also experienced notable gains in 2020, reaching $5.4 billion. Despite an expected dip in demand for organic textiles and fibers created by the pandemic, the category still experienced growth. Organic sales grew by five percent for linens, clothing, and other textiles, totaling $2.1 billion. The survey was carried out by the Nutrition Business Journal on behalf of OTA between January and March 2021.