WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 12, 2001)—Sales of U.S. manufactured organic products grew 38 percent during the past year, manufacturer members of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) have reported. This rate far surpasses the estimated 20 to 25 percent annual growth for the organic market in general and the conventional grocery industry’s annual growth rate of 3 to 5 percent.
Fastest-growing categories between 1999 and 2000 were soyfoods and other meat/dairy alternatives (215 percent growth), meat and poultry and eggs (64 percent growth), miscellaneous canned and jarred products (51 percent growth) and dairy (40 percent growth), according to results released today from OTA’s "2001 Manufacturers’ Market Survey." The survey projects continued strong growth in the industry with an overall rate of 38 percent from 2000 to 2001. Individual projected growth rates for 2000 to 2001 are: soyfoods and other meat/dairy alternatives (94 percent growth), fiber (53 percent growth), meat and poultry and eggs (59 percent growth), miscellaneous canned and jarred products (45 percent growth), and dairy (41 percent growth). Manufacturer member companies reported an average annual growth rate of 36 percent during the past five years.
"This survey reaffirms the strength of organic manufactured products in the marketplace, and is heartening news," said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA’s executive director.
OTA hired Starr Track, an independent market research firm based in Arcata, CA, to conduct the survey and analyze the results. Starr Track contacted all OTA members with branded products sold through retail channels to verify their eligibility for the survey and to gain their cooperation. The survey was fielded between March and September 2001. Of the 221 surveys sent out, 156 were returned, for a 71 percent response rate. This is a follow-up to a 1998 survey conducted by Starr Track for OTA. In addition to the categories covered in the 1998 survey, this latest study included organic fiber products as well as herbal and food-based supplements and pet food using organic ingredients.
Besides product category growth, the survey tracked retail outlet penetration for branded organic products. One of the most dramatic changes, when compared to the 1998 results, was the shift to mass-market channels. In the 2001 study, less than half (49 percent) of organic food manufacturers’ products moved through health and natural food stores, down from 62 percent in 1998. Mass-market groceries, meanwhile, accounted for 45 percent of organic food product sales in 2001, compared to only 31 percent in the 1998 survey.
The 2001 survey also includes an analysis of barriers to growth mentioned by participants.
Copies of the 86-page Organic Trade Association’s 2001 Manufacturers’ Market Survey may be ordered from OTA (phone: 413-774-7511, Ext. 12; fax: 413-774-6432; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). The price is $50 for OTA members, and $100 for non-members. Members of the media may request a free copy of the report’s executive summary by contacting the Communications Department at OTA (413-774-7511, Ext. 11).
October 12, 2001
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