The Organic Trade Association (OTA), a membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America, sees growth in organic sales as evidence that the consumer is willing to pay for value-added products. In fact, OTA forecasts for 2012 and 2013 indicate that organic food and non-food sales will continue to grow nine percent or higher annually.
According to results of the OTA’s 2012 Organic Industry Survey, the U.S organic food and beverage sector grew by 9.4 percent in 2011, reaching $29.22 billion in sales. The fastest-growing sector was the meat, fish & poultry category, with 13 percent growth over 2010 sales. This is likely related to increased food safety concerns related to our meat supply. The overall industry, including the organic non-food sector, grew by 9.5 percent, reaching a total of $31.5 billion. In comparison, conventionally produced food and non-food items experienced 4.7 percent growth.
The study attributes this growth to improvements in the economy, consumer price inflation due to input price increases and consumer demand for convenience products.
The OTA’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey is available for purchase here.