Posted June 9, 2004: U.S. organic food and
non-food sales grew by approximately 20 percent during
2003, to reach $10.8 billion, according to figures from
the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s)
2004 Manufacturer Survey released at OTA’s All
Things Organicä Conference and Trade Show at McCormick
According to survey results, sales of organic foods
were approximately $10.38 billion in 2003, up 20.4 percent
from the previous year. Meanwhile, “non-food”
organic products, such as personal care products, nutritional
supplements, organic fiber, household cleaners, flowers
and pet food, grew by 19.8 percent, to reach $440 million
“Survey results confirm the continued strong
growth of organic products in the marketplace,”
said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA’s executive director.
U.S. organic food sales have grown between 17 and 21
percent each year since 1997, to nearly triple in sales,
while total U.S. food sales over this time period have
grown in the range of only 2 to 4 percent a year. According
to the findings, organic food sales now represent approximately
2 percent of U.S. food sales.
The survey collected data for 71 food subcategories.
Experiencing approximately 20 percent sales growth in
2003, organic fruits and vegetables represented about
42 percent of organic food sales. Meanwhile, the category
of organic meat, poultry and fish represented only 1
percent of organic food sales but experienced the largest
spurt, growing by nearly 78 percent during 2003.
OTA contracted with Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ)
of San Diego, CA, to conduct the survey and analyze
the results. NBJ conducted the survey in February and
March. More than 300 companies responded, of which 220
firms submitted complete surveys, including revenues,
growth, and produce and sales channel breakdowns. NBJ
research provided revenue estimates and product and
sales channel analysis for an additional 52 companies.
The analysis also included register-scanned category
data for calendar year 2003 from SPINS. The 2004 survey
is an expanded follow-up to 1998 and 2001 surveys conducted
by Starr Track for OTA.
Echoing findings in the 2001 report, this latest survey
confirmed that foods are increasingly found in more
mainstream retail establishments. In 2003, over 40 percent
of total organic food sales were handled through supermarkets
and grocery stores, mass merchandisers, and club stores.
Meanwhile, independent natural product and health food
stores and natural grocery chains, accounted for 48
percent of sales.
Copies of the 92-page Organic Trade Association’s
2004 Manufacturers Survey may be ordered from OTA (phone:
413-774-7511; fax: 413-774-6432; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
The price is $195 for OTA members, and $495 for non-members.