Organic food facts

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Organic product sales continue to grow each year in the United States. U.S. organic food sales reached .8 billion in 2009, up 5.1 percent from 2008 sales, according to figures from the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) 2010 Organic Industry Survey.

OTA findings show that by the end of 2009, organic food sales represented approximately 3.7 percent of total U.S. food sales.
Organic foods are increasingly found in more mainstream retail establishments. In 2009, 54 percent of total organic food sales were handled through mainstream grocers, club stores and retailers. Meanwhile, natural and specialty retailers were runners-up, with 40 percent of sales. Direct sales through farmers’ markets, co-ops, community-supported agriculture (CSAs), and the Internet, as well as exports, represented the remaining 6 percent.
Consumers continue to seek out fresh organic fruits and vegetables at their local food cooperatives, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and through CSAs. There are even companies that deliver organic products directly to customers’ homes.

Experiencing the most growth in 2009, organic fruits and vegetables, which represent 38 percent of total organic food sales, reached nearly .5 billion in sales in 2009, up 11.4 percent from 2008 sales. Most notable, organic fruits and vegetables now represent 11.4 percent of all U.S. fruit and vegetable sales.

Since the approval of the final National Organic Program rule published in 2000, sales of organic fruits and vegetables have grown from .55 billion, representing approximately 3 percent of all fruit and vegetable sales, to the nearly .5 billion level and 11.4 percent penetration level. Meanwhile, during that time, organic food sales have grown from .1 billion to .8 billion in 2009, jumping from 1.2 percent of all U.S. food sales to 3.7 percent.

The wide variety of organic foods available meets the diverse tastes and choices of consumers. In addition to fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, meat, eggs, dairy items, and baby foods, it’s possible to buy organic pasta sauces, salsa, fruit juice, soup, cereal, ice cream, peanut butter, tea, coffee, frozen dinners, chocolate, popcorn, snack food, beer and other beverages, to name just a few options available.
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