Fruit and vegetables lead U.S. organic sector's sales surge
The U.S. organic market has hit new heights to reach US$35.1 billion in sales last year, according to a survey from the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
The survey shows the organic industry recorded 11.5% year-on-year growth in 2013, which was the fastest growth rate in five years.
"The U.S. organic market is experiencing strong expansion, with organic food and farming continuing to gain in popularity. Consumers are making the correlation between what we eat and our health, and that knowledge is spurring heightened consumer interest in organic products," OTA CEO Laura Batcha said in a release.
The Organic Industry Survey, conducted and produced by the Nutrition Business Journal, showed the fruit and vegetable category continued to lead the sector with US$11.6 billion in sales, up 15%.
The OTA highlighted that with organics now making up more than 10% of the fruits and vegetables sold in the U.S., the US$1.5 billion in new produce sales represented 46% of the organic sector's US$3.3 billion in new dollars.
The relatively small organic condiments category posted the strongest growth at 17%, reaching US$830 million.
"The entire organic industry needs to rally around helping consumers better understand and appreciate all the values that certified organic brings to the table," Batcha said.
"Consumer education is critical to grow the organic industry."