Organic sales break $100bn mark

Worldwide organic food and drink sales topped US$100bn for the first time in 2018 driven by greater availability, including via out of home channels.

Global sales increased by 6% to US$105bn last year, according to a new report by Ecovia Intelligence, with North America and Europe accounting for around a 90% share.

Rising consumer awareness of organic products and widening availability are two major drivers of global growth. Distribution of organic foods is increasing through retail channels but also via foodservice and catering with chain outlets such as McDonald’s and Pret A Manger making commitments to organic product sourcing.

The US has the largest market for organic food and drink, accounting for around 45% of global sales, followed by Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Denmark has the highest share of organic food retail sales at 14%, while the highest spenders on organic products are in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Austria.

A number of countries with a strong tradition of exporting organic crops, such as China, India, and Brazil, are now also developing strong internal markets.

The report does, however, point to some challenges ahead for the organic sector including a lack of harmonisation of organic standards outside of the main trading blocs and competition from a growing plethora of sustainability schemes and ethical labels.

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