Organic market set to enjoy steady growth over next 20 years

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Organic food

The organic industry is set to enjoy good growth over the next
twenty years, according to a new study by the nation's Organic
Trade Association (OTA), which forecasts that by 2025 organic
products will be considered "commonplace."

The findings, published last week, are based on predictions by industry research organizations, including the Natural Marketing Institute, Nutrition Business Journal and Packaged facts, as well as leading organic producers Organic Valley, Smucker Quality Beverages and Stonyfield Farm.

According to the survey, the organic industry can be expected to continue to "grow and thrive,"​ but at a slower pace than the current 20 percent average annual growth in sales, with the everyday use of organic products becoming "accepted and routine"​ by 2025.

According to organic industry voice OTA, the availability of organic goods is also due to increase in the period, with forecasts that these products will be sold "anywhere and everywhere."

Products set to enjoy the best performance are organic meat, dairy products and alcohol, as well as 'stage of life' foods- those consumed during pregnancy, nursing, infancy, puberty and senior years.

Continuing hectic lifestyles mean that convenience foods and ready-to-eat meals will also increase in popularity, while consumers will also turn towards items that mimic conventional food brands and products perceived as providing health benefits, said the OTA.

Strong government support will help boost the organics market, said the study, which also predicted that one challenge due to be faced by the industry will be consumer confusion about definitions around the organic labels.

The survey, though non-scientific and based solely on observations by industry leaders, is in line with the most recent reports on the performance of the organic industry.

The OTA's 2004 Manufacturers' Survey reveals that the organic foods industry reached $10.8 billion in 2003 and has grown at an average rate of 19.5 percent per year since 1997, while market researcher Euromonitor predicts that sales of packaged organic foods alone will be worth $8.6 billion at retail by 2009 - up from 5.1 billion in 2003.

A recent study commissioned by leading organic supermarket Whole Foods Market reveals that nearly two thirds of the nation's consumers have opted for organic goods in 2005, compared to just over half in both 2003 and 2004, an increase of almost 17 percent.

Most of the participants said they opt for organic goods in order to avoid pesticides, for their freshness, for their nutritional benefits and in an effort to avoid genetically modified foods.

Yet despite the strong growth of the market for organic goods, price continues to be a main barrier, with almost three quarters of consumers saying that the higher prices of organic foods are what prevent them from buying more, according to the Whole Foods Market report.

Related topics Ingredients

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