U.S. organic sales grew by 6% in 2017

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U.S. organic sales grew by 6% in 2017

U.S. sales of organic products rose by 6% in 2017 to a new record of US$49.4 billion, according to a Organic Trade Association (OTA) survey.

The organic food market grew 6% to US$45.2 billion in sales, while sales of organic non-food products rose by 7% to US$4.2 billion.

While slower than 2016's growth of 9%, the organic market is still growing faster than the overall food market in the U.S., which increased by 1%. Organic food now accounts for 5.5% of all food sold in retail channels in the U.S. the OTA said. 

Fruits and vegetables continued to be the largest organic food category, rising 5% to US$16.5 billion. Fresh produce accounts for 90% of organic fruit and vegetable sales.

There is also variety in organic produce, with both industry veterans and start-ups getting shelf space for certified organic products.

"Consumers love organic, and now we're able to choose organic in practically every aisle in the store," said OTA CEO and executive director Laura Batcha.

With the first survey conducted in 1997 only registering US$3.4 billion in organic food sales, the industry has grown nearly 15-fold and has more than doubled in the last decade alone.

However, organic sales did slow down in comparison to 2016, as new channel and product expansions are becoming "more incremental rather than revolutionary", with over 24,000 certified organic brands serving the market.

"The organic food market will see a steadier pace of growth as it matures, but it will continue to surpass the growth rate of the broader food market," said Batcha.

"Demand for organic is flourishing as consumers seek out nutritious and clean food that is good for their health and the environment."


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