GREENFIELD, MASS. — Sales of organic products grew by 5% in 2009 to $26.6 billion despite the state of the economy, according to the Organic Trade Association.
“While total U.S. food sales grew by only 1.6% in 2009, organic food sales grew by 5.1%,” said Christine Bushway, executive director for the O.T.A. “Meanwhile, organic non-food sales grew by 9.1% as opposed to total non-food sales, which had a 1% negative sales growth rate. These findings are indicative that even in tough times, consumers understand the benefits that organic products offer and will make other cuts before they give up products they value.”
Of the $26.6 billion organic food market in 2009, $24.8 of that was organic food. Organic fruits and vegetables represent 38% of the total organic food sales at nearly $9.5 billion in 2009, up 11% from 2008 sales. Organic fruits and vegetables now represent 11% of all U.S. fruit and vegetable sales. Since the final National Organic Program rule was published in 2000, sales of organic fruits and vegetables have grown to nearly $9.5 billion from $2.55 billion.
The mass market channel had the majority of organic food sales last year with 54% of organic sold through mainstream grocers, club stores and retailers.