local organic produce at a grocery shop or store

Organic food sales reached $57.5 billion in 2021, a growth rate of about 2% from the previous year, according to the latest Organic Industry Survey from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). 

Among major organic food categories, organic beverages had the highest sales growth for the year at 8%, attributed to the category’s quick response to shifting consumer demands. The category got a boost from organic coffee sales, which went up by 5% with more Americans working from home. 

Revenue results for other major organic food categories included:

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  • Fruits and vegetables had a 4.5% sales increase in 2021, driven by growth in fresh and dried produce. Sales of frozen and canned products, on the other hand, dropped slightly.
  • After a surge in sales as customers stocked up in 2020, organic dairy products and eggs leveled off in 2021. Compared to 2019, however, sales for the category grew by almost 11%. Meanwhile, organic meat sales rose by 2.5% in 2021, thanks primarily to organic poultry, which achieved 4.7% growth over the year.
  • Sales of bread and grains were a bit lower in 2021 as consumers backed off on at-home baking. The largest subcategory, frozen and fresh breads, had a small increase of 1.6%, while sales declined for baking ingredients, pastas, rice, and other dry grains.
  • Packaged and prepared food dropped by roughly 5% as purchasing patterns shifted away from pantry loading. The greatest sales decreases in the category were in canned soups, nut butters, and pasta sauces — all products that had significant growth in 2020. On the opposite end, organic baby food sales grew by 11%, and snack sales grew by 6% in 2021.

“Organic’s ability to retain the market footholds gained during 2020 and continue to grow despite unprecedented challenges and uncertainty is a testament to the strength of our industry and our products,” said Tom Chapman, OTA’s CEO and executive director. “To keep organic strong, the industry will need to continue developing innovative solutions to supply chain weaknesses and prioritizing efforts to engage and educate organic shoppers and businesses.” 

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