The Organic Trade Association’s 2013 Organic Industry Survey, conducted and produced by Nutrition Business Journal, indicates that the U.S. organic product market continued to climb in 2012, putting more distance between the growth of today and the difficulties of the recession in 2009.
More than 200 companies responded to the survey, which was conducted from Jan. 25, 2013 through April 5, 2013. It includes revenues reported in narrow ranges, sales growth, revenue by product and sales channel breakdowns.
Consumer sales of organic products — both food and non-food — accounted for $31.5 billion in sales in 2012, adding roughly $2.9 billion in new annual sales dollars while also achieving double-digit growth for the first time since 2008.
In the produce category, fresh fruit and vegetable sales continues to lead the way by a huge margin over canned and frozen products. Fresh produce sales in 2012 represented 90.8 percent of total organic produce sales, with frozen organic produce at four percent, canned at 3.45 percent and dried beans, fruits and vegetables at 2 percent.
The survey also indicated that private label and contract manufacturing continue to be important segments of the organic business. While the private label organic product offerings in the mass market channel continue to expand, many large players in this channel indicated that sales growth was down in 2012.
Private label growth is stronger in the natural retail channel, where shopping for organic is easier and consumers clearly understand the value proposition of an organic private label product.