There was a time in the ‘not so distant’ past, when organic food was just a teeny tiny sliver of the entire food consumption pie. Organic products were bought and sold primarily by hippies and health nuts. Not any more. In fact, since 1990, organic food sales in the United States and Canada have been growing at approximately 20% per year. In 2006, sales of organic food in the United States and Canada topped $18 billion. Numbers these large were enough to catch the attention of the mainstream agri-business industry. As a result, a growing percentage of the new growth in organic food sales is being driven by mainstream supermarkets. In 1998, organic food sales in supermarkets were half the size of the sales in natural food stores. However, by 2006, supermarket sales had grown to be neck and neck with the natural food stores.
Even as food prices keep rising year after year, the demand for organics keeps rising faster than non-organics year after year, resulting in….
- the expansion of existing organic food companies – both public and private,
- the introduction of thousands of new raw & process organic food products,
- takeovers (and mergers) of small organic independents by large food producers/retailers,
- the introduction and expansion of private label organic brands by the large food producers/retailers,
Next page – Animation of the Organic Food Industry and How it Has Changed – 1995-2007