LONDON — The global market for organic food and beverages is projected to approach $60 billion in sales in 2010, according to a report published by the market research firm Organic Monitor. The report also noted that the United States has surpassed Europe to become the largest organic market in the world.

The authors of the report also noted that after years of double-digit growth, the market for organic foods and beverages grew 4.7% in 2009. The European market was the most affected by the global financial crisis as retailers rationalized the organic products they offered.

In North America, the report said the organic food supply continues to fall short of demand and has led to expansion in the import of organic products. Latin America has become a key source of organic fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts and seeds.

“Price premium remains a major barrier to wider adoption rates,” said Organic Monitor. “High prices of organic products restrict demand to affluent consumers. A major challenge is to overcome the expensive perception of organic products. Even though some organic products have price differential of just 15%, the premium perception of organic foods is dampening consumer demand.”