The global market size of organic produce is expected to reach nearly $63 billion by 2020, according to a recent study.
The study, released by Research and Markets, shows that this growth corresponds to a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 percent from 2015 thanks to a number of contributing regions and factors, including North America, the largest organic market in 2014.
According to an Organic Trade Association survey, 81 percent of Americans purchased organic food at least some of the time in 2014, up from 66 percent in the early 2000s, according to the USDA. Of the organic products available, the USDA reports that fresh produce has been the top-selling organic category, surpassing organic meats and snacks, since it began regulating organic food.
These projections may be limited, however. An article published in 2014 by Food Navigator cites a previous estimate from the Organic Trade Association that had projected a growth to $81.3 billion by 2012, which proved to be a stretch at that point in the development of organic produce sales.
Organic growth has thus far relied at least to some extent on what the publication deemed “power shoppers,” a group comprising about 18 percent of consumers that were defined as “true believers” and “enlightened environmentalists” that accounted for almost half of all organic product sales. These shoppers are contrasted with those who actively avoid organic food, be it for monetary or other reasons.
That being said, the USDA reports that organic shopping is increasingly considered to be mainstream, and “Organic products have shifted from being a lifestyle choice for a small share of consumers to being consumed at least occasionally by a majority of Americans,” according to the report. A 2014 article in the Star Tribune reported that the increased presence of organic produce within the realm of mainstream grocery shopping has led to decreased prices in the infamously expensive sector, both at retailers like Walmart and specialty organic stores like Whole Foods.
While the growth of organic food is certainly highlighted in the U.S., the recently released study also highlighted emerging markets, like India, China, and Brazil, which are expected to grow at an even faster rate than North America in the coming months.
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Fresh organic produce image via Shutterstock