Certified organic market sees record sales in 2023

Organic Soda Pops

WASHINGTON — The US certified organic market reached a record $69.7 billion in sales in 2023, according to data from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Sales in the category rose 3.4% compared to 2022, driven primarily by pricing actions within the market.

“It is encouraging to see that organic is growing at basically the same rate as the total market,” said Tom Chapman, co-chief executive officer of OTA. “In the face of inflation and considering organic is already seen as a premium category, the current growth shows that consumers continue to choose organic amidst economic challenges and price increases. Although organic is now a maturing sector in the marketplace, we still have plenty of room to grow.”

The produce category continues to generate the most sales within the organic market. Produce, which serves as an entry point for consumers interested in trying organic foods, have resonated with consumers’ desire for clean and healthy products, according to the OTA. Organic produce sales increased 2.6% in 2023 to $20.5 billion, representing 15% of total fruit and vegetables sales in the United States. Popular products in the category included avocados, berries, apples, carrots and packaged salads.

The grocery category, which ranges from breads and grains to condiments and packaged foods, was the second-largest organic food category. Organic grocery sales grew 4.1% to $15.4 billion, led by in-store bakery and fresh breads at $3.1 billion, dry breakfast foods at $1.8 billion, and baby food and formula at $1.5 billion.

The third-largest organic category was beverages, which recorded a 3.9% uptick and $9.4 billion in sales in 2023. Functional beverages led the category, including formulations focused on benefits like enhanced hydration and improved mental focus, and non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails also saw significant growth.

Unit sales in the certified organic categories tracked by the OTA were up 40% in 2023, and many organic product prices increased at a slower rate than their non-organic counterparts, helping to bridge the price gap, according to the association.

To capitalize on the growth, certified organic manufacturers will need to improve the messaging of organic benefits and combat any consumer confusion resulting from emerging label claims with attributes that may already fall under the certified organic seal, the OTA said.

“It is essential to educate consumers that choosing organic is a straightforward way to tackle some of the greatest challenges we face,” said Matthew Dillon, co-CEO of OTA. “Whether it's accessing healthy foods, improving transparency in supply chains, mitigating climate change, supporting rural economic resilience, protecting natural resources or realizing the multitude of other benefits, effectively communicating and delivering on these promises is the key to expanding organic’s share of our dinner plate.”

Written by Caleb Wilson ~

Article source Food Business News ~

Read the original article here ~


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