U.S. organic food sales reached a record high in 2020, jumping 12.8% over 2019 sales to $56.4 billion, according to a new survey from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). In 2020, almost 6% of the food sold in the U.S. was certified organic, says the group.
Fresh organic produce sales rose by nearly 11% in 2020 to sales of $18.2 million. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables also jumped, with frozen sales rising by more than 28%. Including frozen, canned, and dried products, total sales of organic fruit and vegetables in 2020 were $20.4 billion. More than 15% of the fruits and vegetables sold in this country now are organic.
Pantry stocking was overwhelmingly the main growth driver in 2020, says the OTA. Sales of organic flours and baked goods grew by 30%.
Consumers also turned to “meal support” products to help them in the kitchen. Sales of sauces and spices pushed the $2.4 billion condiments category to a growth rate of 31%, and organic spice sales jumped by 51%, more than triple the growth rate of 15% in 2019.
Meat, poultry, and fish, the smallest of the organic categories at $1.7 billion, had the second highest growth rate of nearly 25%.
While the group doesn’t expect the growth in organic food sales to continue at 2020’s rate, it does expect sales to stay on a strong growth path in 2021. The OTA anticipates that the grocery industry at large will get a lasting lift from the pandemic for the foreseeable future as many consumers continue to cook at home more frequently.
The full report can be purchased online from the OTA.