Organic Sales Up Despite Recession
- Friday, 08 May 2009
When the economy started to nosedive, environmentalists worried newly-green consumers might sell out to save a buck. Apparently, there wasn't much to worry about.
The Organic Trade Association's 2009 Organic Industry Survey revealed some surprising results: American organic non-food sales increased by a whopping 39.4 percent in 2008, while food sales were up 15.8 percent.
Non-Food Sales Soar
The survey looked at a number of non-food categories, and while non-food sales account for a miniscule 7 percent of organic products, the overall spike in non-food organics is encouraging.
Growth by category:
Fiber/Linen/Clothing - 65 percent
Flowers - 54 percent
Pet Food - 48 percent
Household Products - 42 percent
Supplements - 38 percent
Personal Care - 19 percent
It's important to note that fiber/linen/clothing, supplements and personal care products account for 89 percent of all organic non-food sales. That being said, it's a safe assumption that most consumers spend more money on organic clothing in a year than they do on flowers, so the growth in all categories is encouraging.
Organic Food Sales Continue to Grow
Food still dominates the organics market, with $22.9 billion in sales in 2008. It's a huge slice of the organic pie, but organic foods only account for 3.74 percent of all food sales in the U.S.
So what kinds of organic foods were Americans buying in 2008? More than one-third of all sales were fruits and vegetables. Dairy, beverages, prepared foods and breads/grains each comprise 12 to 16 percent of the organic food sales.
Surprisingly, meat, fish and poultry only accounted for 2 percent of all organic foods sales in 2008.