retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Organic Trade Association says this morning that "sales of organic products in the United States jumped to $35.1 billion in 2013, up 11.5% from the previous year’s $31.5 billion and the fastest growth rate in five years." An OTA survey suggests that "growth rates over the next two years will at least keep pace with the 2013 clip and even slightly exceed it."

Additional details from the survey:

• "The growth rate of organic food sales, which has averaged almost 10% every year since 2010, has dwarfed the average annual growth of just over 3% in total food sales during that same period."

• "A product breakdown of the organic food sector shows that the fruit and vegetable category continues to lead the sector with $11.6 billion in sales, up 15%. With more than 10% of the fruits and vegetables sold in the United States now organic, the $1.5 billion in new sales of organic fruits and vegetable represented 46% of the organic sector’s $3.3 billion in new dollars."

• "The relatively small organic condiments category posted the strongest growth, at 17%, to reach sales of $830 million. Also showing double-digit growth were the organic snack food sector, up 15% to $1.7 billion; organic bread and grain sales up 12% to $3.8 billion; organic meat, poultry and fish sales up 11% to $675 million, and the rapidly expanding organic packaged and prepared food sector up 10% to $4.8 billion."

• "Just two categories of the organic food sector showed single-digit growth rates. The $4.9 billion dairy sector grew by 8%, and sales of organic beverages slowed to a 5% growth rate to around $4 billion."
KC's View:
Look for these numbers to increase even more as two things happen - there are more organic products available for less money as retailers like Walmart and Target jump into the fray, and as consumers seek out non-GMO products and find organics to be an appropriate refuge.