As GMO food concerns continue to be a top priority for the general public, there has been a movement to change eating habits so that more organic foods are consumed. Although the latest push seems like a new trend, however, organic food consumption has been rising for a number of years.
Sales of natural & organic food and beverages saw 85% growth from 2005-2009 to reach $36.4 billion at wholesale pricing.
Organic Food Consumption
This is compared to the 2-3% growth in other food consumption sectors in the same period of time. With the main cause of not consuming organic foods being the price, the growth of the organic foods industry could be extremely explosive if a prolonged economic recovery can take hold.
- U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $24.8 billion in 2009.
- 65% of consumers express the most desire for foods with organic ingredients.
- 1 in 3 American households shop for organic foods because of either celiac disease or a wheat/gluten intolerance or allergy in at least one household member.
- 6 out of 10 Americans have visited a natural foods store for their shopping needs at least once in the past year.
- U.S. consumer sales of functional foods and beverages grew 22% from 2006-2009 to $37.4 billion.
- The fruit and vegetable category continues to lead the sector with $11.6 billion in sales, up 15% from 2012.
- Organic condiments have shown the strongest overall growth within the organic food consumption market, seeing an increase of 17% in sales to account for $930 million of the industry’s sales.
Obesity rates are on the rise. About 2 out of every 3 Americans charts as being overweight when their body mass index is calculated. Households are looking to the organic food industry for answers and are finding them. Cheap foods might be healthy for the budget, but people are discovering that they aren’t healthy for the body. Low nutrient, high fat content foods cannot be the primary component of a diet any more. Organic food consumption, when made a top priority for households, helps everyone achieve better health.
What Are the Costs of Buying Organic Foods Today?
- The average household that purchases organic foods compared to general foods at the grocery store spends $15 more per week on groceries.
- The percentage of American households who self-report that they purchase at least one organic item sometimes when they shop: 81%.
- In 2015, the global organic food market is expected to exceed $88 billion in total, which would be a 50% increase from just 5 years ago. Americans contributed 55% of the increase.
- Despite all of these gains, organic foods represent just 4% of the total food industry.
- The gains in the organic market have been so great that the FDA in the US has had to institute $10,000 fines on growers or manufacturers who intentionally mislabel foods as organic.
The good news is that the industry is growing rapidly. This will eventually drive prices down enough so that more households can enjoy organic foods. The bad news is that poverty is still a major factor in the decision-making of weekly grocery budgets. Half of all American households say that the price of organic foods is the primary deciding factor in whether or not they decide to make a purchase. This leads to an interesting question: could the US lower healthcare costs by subsidizing organic foods like we subsidize other products and services?
How Wide Is the Availability of Organic Foods?
- 20,000. That’s the number of US relaters that are selling organic food products right now.
- 43% of the organic foods market comes from the growth and sale of fruits and vegetables.
- 57% of shoppers say that they prefer eating organic foods if they are give a choice in the matter.
- The growth of organic food sales in the United States has been at 10% for several years.
As people continue to question what is in their food, they will continue to shift toward organic products. The global industry might be worth $88 billion right now, but it is growing at a pace of $8 billion per year or more and not showing signs of stopping. If economic stability can be achieved, not only will organic food consumption increase, by the demands for healthcare may decrease as well. That would be the best win/win situation of them all.