Sales of organic food and non-food products in the U.S. grew 11.3 percent in 2014 over the previous year, totaling $39.1 billion, according to the latest survey from the Organic Trade Assn. (OTA).
Despite the industry struggling with tight supplies of organic ingredients, organic food sales grew 11 percent in 2014, to $35.9 billion, while organic non-food sales, at $3.2 billion, jumped almost 14 percent for the biggest annual increase in six years.
The majority of American households in all regions of the country now make organic a part of their supermarket and retail purchases – from 68 to almost 80 percent of households in southern states, to nearly 90 percent on the West Coast and in New England, according to OTA.
OTA’s Organic Industry Survey was conducted by Nutrition Business Journal. More than 200 companies responded to the survey between Feb. 10 and April 3. The full survey will be available in mid-May through OTA (www.ota.com).
The U.S. organic sector has expanded significantly since OTA first began tracking the industry’s performance in 1997. In 1997, organic food sales totaled around $3.4 billion, and accounted for less than 1 percent of total food sales. In 2014, organic food claimed almost 5 percent of the total food sales in the U.S., and has consistently far outpaced the 3 percent growth for the total food industry.
Organic fruits and vegetables continued to be the biggest-selling organic category in 2014 with $13 billion in sales, up 12 percent from the previous year, and making up more than 36 percent of all organic food sales. Of all the produce now sold in the U.S., 12 percent of it is organic, a market share that has more than doubled in the past 10 years when organic produce sales accounted for only 5 percent of the fruit and vegetable market.
The organic dairy sector posted an almost 11 percent jump in sales in 2014 to $5.46 billion, the biggest percentage increase for that category in six years.