CHICAGO — U.S. organic sales surpassed $21 billion in sales in the 52-week period ended Nov. 24, 2018, which was up nearly 9% from the previous 52-week period, according to Nielsen Homescan household projected data. Millennials, who spent 14% more on organic products compared to the previous 52-week period, and Hispanic consumers, who spent over 13% more, were top buyers.
“Gone are the days when organic products catered to a singular or specific audience,” New York-based Nielsen said. “Today, organics have hit the mainstream. Not only are organic products boosting our industry’s top line, they are being purchased more by all generational and age cohorts. That said, some segments of our population are leaning into organic more than others.”
Nielsen Retail Measurement Services collected U.S. sales numbers for specific food and beverage categories for the 52-week period ended Dec. 1, 2018. Double-digit sales growth came in kombucha, up 42% to $412 million; sandwich bread, up 19% to $466 million; and fresh chicken, up 11% to $499 million.
“One beverage that’s really emerged in the organic space this year is kombucha,” Nielsen said. “Known only to a niche audience a few years ago, today this probiotic and organic functional beverage is winning the hearts of consumers across America.”
Cow’s milk led all organic category sales at $1,361 million, but sales slipped 2.3% from the previous 52-week period. Organic cow’s milk, with an average price per unit of $4.76, may be selling at too premium a price compared to conventional, with an average price per unit price of $2.59, according to Nielsen. Sales of organic almond milk rose 23% over the 52-week period, but sales declined 3.8% for organic soy milk and 1% for organic lactose-reduced/lactose-free milk.