May 10, 2023
Organic food sales hit record $61.7 billion in US in 2022

Organic food sales in the U.S. topped $60 billion for the first time in 2022, almost doubling 2021’s growth and now accounting for 6% of total food sales in the nation.

The 2023 Organic Industry Survey, released today by the Organic Trade Association, found that total organic sales, including nonfood products, hit a record $67.6 billion in 2022.

The sector’s 4% growth was nearly twice the pace of 2021. Organic food sales totaled $61.7 billion.

The organic food market grew despite inflation, supply chain disruption stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and global political events, competing food labels and a labor shortage, the survey found. Inflation boosted prices in the overall food sector, increase reflected in the rising value of organic sales even as volume in some categories dipped.

“Organic has proven it can withstand short-term economic storm,” OTA CEO Tom Chapman said in a news release. “Despite the fluctuation of any given moment, Americans are still investing in their personal health, and, with increasing interest, in the environment, and organic is the answer.

“Organic’s fundamental values remain strong, and consumers have demonstrated they will come back time and again because the organic system is verified and better for people, the planet and the economy.”

Produce takes top spot 

Sales of organic produce once again topped all organic categories, totaling $22 billion and accounting for 15% of all fruit and vegetable sales in the U.S.

Organic beverages were the second best-selling organic category, reporting $9 billion in sales in 2022, up 4% from 2021. Organic coffee maintained its position as the biggest-selling organic beverage, up almost 7% from the previous year with almost $2.3 billion in sales. Organic soft drinks and enhanced drinks broke through $500 million in sales at $503 million and saw robust growth of almost 14%.

“Organic beverages continue to climb. They’re an area where shoppers are willing to experiment and are less price-sensitive,” said Angela Jagiello, director of Education and Insights for OTA and coordinator of the annual survey. “Soft and enhanced drinks had a great year, with the non-alcoholic trend being a big contributing factor. Many younger shoppers are reducing or eliminating alcohol, and these organic beverages are a celebratory and sophisticated alternative.”

The third highest-selling organic category was dairy and eggs at $7.9 billion, up over 7% from the previous year. Organic dairy and eggs now make up close to 8% of the total dairy and egg market. Continued demand and inflationary price increases helped boost sales. Yogurt and eggs both saw double-digit growth, with organic yogurt sales jumping by more than 12 % to $1.5 billion and organic egg sales by 11% to around $1.2 billion.

Among other organic food categories, organic baby food and formula sales rose almost 13% to $1.4 billion; sales of organic rice, grains and potato products grew more than 10% to $387 million; organic dip sales climbed 18% to $194 million; and organic pork sales grew by more than 10% to $63 million.

In the organic nonfood category, sales of organic linens and clothing accounted for 40% of sales, recording $2.4 billion for a gain of 2.5%. Organic supplement sales held steady at around $2 billion, while organic personal care products rose over 5% to $1.2 billion.

Brightly colored produce at a farmers market
Organic food sales in the U.S. topped $60 billion for the first time in 2022, almost doubling 2021’s growth. Photo: File

A bright future

In the last 10 years, organic sales have more than doubled. Total organic sales topped $50 billion for the first time in 2018, with organic food sales hitting $50 billion in 2019.

“Organic is at that right intersection of environmental and personal health,” Chapman said. “Organic brings together the interest in human health and a healthy environment, and that offers organic a positive pathway forward and will help organic businesses withstand challenges in the future.”

The 2023 survey was conducted from January 13 through April 4 and was produced on behalf of OTA by Nutrition Business Journal. Data sources included point-of-sale data, expert interviews, annual report data and in-depth direct survey data. About 100 companies completed a significant portion of the in-depth survey.

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