American organic sales hit a milestone last year, surpassing $50 billion dollars for the first time ever. According to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey that was recently released by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the organic market set a new record of nearly $52.5 billion in sales. The sales number represents a 6.3 percent increase from the previous year.
“Organic is now considered mainstream. But the attitudes surrounding organic are anything but status quo,” OTA CEO and Executive Director, Laura Batcha said in a press release. “In 2018, there was a notable shift in the mindset of those working in organic toward collaboration and activism to move the needle on the role organic can play in sustainability and tackling environmental initiatives.”
Organic food sales grew 5.9 percent, reaching almost $47.9 billion last year. Organic non-food sales also grew 10.6 percent to nearly $4.6 billion. Organic fruits and vegetables combine for over a third of all organic food sales in the U.S. and account for nearly 15 percent of all fresh produce sold. The most popular organic products continue to be fresh produce, but demand for frozen, canned, and dried organic produce is continuing to grow. The survey also noted that nearly six percent of all food sold in the U.S. is considered organic.
The survey is evidence of the continuing growth trend of the organic sector. OTA noted that “organic is no longer a niche market,” and that millennials are helping push sales in the organic sector further every year. While organic sales growth may have slowed down somewhat in the last three years, overall sales of organic food has more than doubled over the past decade. The growing interest in food transparency and sustainable farming practices is one of the key factors in the continuing growth of the organic sector.