Food Facts - Organic Trade Association
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Food Facts


Organic food facts

Organic product sales continue to grow each year in the United States. U.S. organic food sales reached $24.8 billion in 2009, up 5.1 percent from 2008 sales, according to figures from the Organic Trade Associationís (OTAís) 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 farmersí 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, farmersí markets, and through CSAs. There are even companies that deliver organic products directly to customersí homes.

  • Experiencing the most growth in 2009, organic fruits and vegetables, which represent 38 percent of total organic food sales, reached nearly $9.5 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 $2.55 billion, representing approximately 3 percent of all fruit and vegetable sales, to the nearly $9.5 billion level and 11.4 percent penetration level. Meanwhile, during that time, organic food sales have grown from $6.1 billion to $24.8 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, itís 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.

Resources on organic

Because organic products are becoming more widespread, it is becoming easier to find organic products in local venues. Here are some resources to consult:

  • The Organic Pages OnlineóThe Organic Trade Association offers a searchable online directory of its members, at Visitors to the site can search for such categories as mail order, branded products, and farm-grown products.
  • Organic. Itís Worth itóThe Organic Trade Associationís consumer web site provides many resources and articles of interest to consumers interested in organic agriculture and products. The site:
  • Consumers may also visit and to find farmers, restaurants and other sources of organic products in their area. Note that some listings on these two sites may not necessarily be organic.

© Organic Trade Association June 2010

The Organic Trade Association is the leading business association representing the organic industry in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Its more than 1700 members include growers, processors, shippers, retailers, certification organizations and others involved in the business of producing and selling certified organic products.

© 2010, Organic Trade Association.

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