Organic produce sales finished with a 14.2% increase in 2020 over the previous year, outpacing conventionally grown produce in both sales and volume gains, according to the 2020 Organic Produce Performance Report released Jan. 20 exclusively by the Organic Produce Network and Category Partners.
Organic fresh produce sales in 2020 were $8,542,355,756, an increase of over $1 billion from 2019, and represented 12% of all fresh produce sales, according to scanned data from Nielsen. Conventional produce sales rose 10.7% for the year.
Overall organic volume in 2020 increased 16% from the previous year, while conventional volume rose by 9% during the same period. Organic bananas continue to be the biggest volume mover, with movement up 16% from 2019.
The 14.2% increase in organic sales from 2019 reflected a nine-month-long pandemic that changed consumers’ grocery shopping habits. Of the top 10 organic sales and volume categories, nine of them saw double-digit growth.
The top three sales categories for 2020 were packaged salads, berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries), and apples, with each segment registering double-digit gains over the prior year. Among the categories showing the largest year-over-year sales increases were herbs and spices (up 26%) and potatoes (up 21%), as consumers shifted to preparing more meals at home during the pandemic. Organic grapes saw a decline of 6% in both sales and volume.
All four geographic regions of the country experienced double-digit growth in 2020, with the West showing the biggest increases in sales (16.8%) and volume (17.5%) over the previous year.
The South continues to climb in organic produce consumption, with sales of over $2.5 billion, an increase of 14.7% from 2019, and volume up 17.8 percent over the same period.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
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