The Surge Of The Market Organic Food Sector In 2024

The Surge Of The Market Organic Food Sector

The market for organic food is much more than a trend—it’s a revolution in eating habits and organic food production. This article unpacks the market’s impressive growth, highlights consumer shifts towards organic options, and current strategies key players employ to meet this rising demand.

Whether it’s the environmental pull or the health allure driving the market’s surge, we’ve got you covered—with both the overarching view and the fine details on what’s fueling the market in 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • The organic food and beverages market is experiencing rapid growth, projected to reach USD 546.97 billion by 2032, with a CAGR of 11.60% from 2023 to 2032, driven by consumer demand for healthier and eco-friendly products.
  • Organic farming practices prioritize sustainability and environmental health by avoiding chemical inputs, employing crop rotation, and using natural pest control methods. These practices also contribute to the market’s growth by meeting consumers’ preferences for purer food sources.
  • The distribution channels for organic food, particularly supermarkets, hypermarkets, and online platforms, are expanding. This makes organic foods more accessible and contributes to market growth in both developed and developing economies.

Market Organic Food Overview

Market Organic Food Overview

As of 2022, the global organic food and beverages market was valued at approximately USD 208.19 billion, with projections suggesting it will reach an astounding USD 546.97 billion by 2032. This impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.60% from 2023 to 2032 reflects the increasing consumer desire for healthier, eco-friendly products.

In many developed nations and economies like the United States, organic food consumption has become commonplace, with 82% of households incorporating organic food into their kitchens.

Organic Produce Popularity

In the global organic food and beverages market, organic fruits and vegetables reign supreme, accounting for 42% of the market share in 2022. Their sustained popularity is projected to continue, with the segment expected to reach a valuation of USD 194 billion by 2032. This dominance is a testament to consumers’ preference for fresh, organic produce over their conventional counterparts.

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But it’s not just fruits and vegetables that are in high demand. The organic meat, fish, and other poultry products segment is experiencing rapid growth. In 2019, sales from this segment increased by 11% in the United States, indicating a rising consumer demand for these products.

It accounted for approximately 21% of the market share of frozen food in 2022 and is expected to be the highest-growing segment within organic food products.

Organic Beverages Boom

In the organic beverage segment’s growth, non-dairy beverages took the lead in 2023. This category, including almond milk, soy milk, and other plant-based milk alternatives, evidences consumer preference for dairy-free options. However, the real stars of the organic beverage segment are coffee and tea, which are expected to experience the highest Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) within the segment.

This surge in popularity can be attributed to a growing consumer preference for these beverages over carbonated drinks. The organic beverages segment encompasses a wide range of products, such as:

  • non-dairy beverages
  • coffee
  • tea
  • beer
  • wine
  • others such as juices and soft drinks

This diverse category offers a variety of options for health-conscious consumers. The consumption of organic tea and coffee is anticipated to drive market growth as more consumers prefer these over carbonated beverages.

Market Organic Food Farming Practices & Methods

Market Organic Food Farming Practices & Methods

Organic farming practices, which form the basis of organic agriculture, are at the heart of the organic food market’s success. These organic farming methods, including crop rotation and natural pest control methods, are designed to boost crop health and yield sustainably.

By incorporating a wide variety of plant species like legumes in crop rotation, nitrogen is naturally replenished, and diverse root depths promote nutrient cycling and soil health. Strategic planning of crop sequences manages soil-borne diseases, pest populations, and weeds, ultimately boosting crop yields and soil moisture efficiency.

Organic pest control, another core element of organic farming methods, utilizes beneficial predators, parasites, and organic pesticides derived from natural sources. These methods avoid using synthetic chemicals to protect crops and play a crucial role in promoting soil health.

These practices and avoiding chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides make organic farming a more environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to conventional farming methods.

Environmental Benefits

One of the significant advantages of organic farming lies in its environmental benefits. By prohibiting chemical fertilizers and pesticides, chemical pollution in soil and waterways is significantly reduced. Organic agriculture and crop rotation legumes act as natural fertilizers, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers, which are often associated with health risks.

Moreover, crop rotation in organic farming aids in sustaining environmental health by managing soil-borne pathogens and enhancing soil fertility.

Organic pest control practices improve soil structure and overall soil health. By specifically targeting pests and not affecting non-target species, biodiversity is preserved. Additionally, long-term weed management through crop rotation contributes to the maintenance of ecological balance. All these practices make organic farming a sustainable choice that benefits consumers and the environment.

Health Advantages

In addition to environmental benefits, organic foods offer numerous health advantages. Consumers often perceive organic foods as safer and healthier as they are:

  • Free of harmful chemicals
  • Protected from conventional pesticide residues through organic pest control methods
  • Derived from animals not treated with antibiotics or growth hormones

These factors provide a healthier option for consumers looking for healthy foods.

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The absence of artificial preservatives in producing organic foods means they spoil more quickly. Still, it also implies that they are fresher and less processed, aligning with consumer health priorities. This focus on health and safety is evident in the stringent certification process that organic foods undergo.

This process ensures the use of organic-compliant soil and the avoidance of prohibited substances, which enhances the purity and safety of the crops harvested.

Distribution Channels & Market Organic Food Growth

Distribution Channels & Market Organic Food Growth

Organic food distribution is a crucial component of the market’s growth. In 2022, offline distribution channels, including supermarkets and speciality stores, claimed around 67% of the market share, whereas online channels comprised 35%.

The increased availability of organic products in mainstream supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, online merchants, and traditional grocery and convenience stores has made organic foods and beverages more accessible in everyday shopping. This greater accessibility has contributed to market growth by fitting into consumers’ routine shopping habits.

The cost of organic foods, which has been a consideration, is less impactful on market growth due to more mature market conditions and a shift in consumer spending preferences towards quality and health.

Supermarkets & Hypermarkets

Supermarkets and hypermarkets play a significant role in organic food distribution target marketing. In 2022, these outlets held a market share of approximately 24% in organic food sales. This dominance continued in 2023, with supermarkets and hypermarkets maintaining their position as the distribution channel with the largest share.

Consumers prefer these outlets and speciality stores for their extensive range of domestic and branded organic products. The wide variety of organic products in these stores caters to the increased consumer preference for organics, emphasizing the importance of high-quality standards and access to various choices.

Online Sales & Emerging Platforms

The rise of e-commerce has significantly impacted the organic food market. Online sales channels have become a crucial segment in the distribution of organic food and beverages, showcasing a substantial trend towards e-commerce. The convenience of shopping at online retailers and the ability to compare prices and products easily have made online shopping an attractive option for many consumers.

This shift to online sales of healthy foods is not just a passing trend. As consumers continue to embrace the convenience and variety offered by online shopping, online sales of organic food and beverages are likely to continue increasing, contributing to the overall growth of the organic food market.

Regional Market Organic Food Analysis

Regional Market Organic Food Analysis

The organic food market’s growth is not confined to a single region. Both developed economies and developing nations are experiencing strong growth in this sector. North America holds the largest regional market share of the organic food market, with a substantial 40% share of total revenue in the forecast period of 2020.

The European organic food and beverage market is also expected to experience substantial growth, with projections showing an increase from USD 141.29 billion in 2024 to USD 273.85 billion in 2029 at a CAGR of 14.15%.

Developed Economies

The organic food market is experiencing robust growth in developed and developing economies. Some key statistics include:

  • North America’s organic food market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.3% from 2023 to 2032.
  • The U.S. alone is expected to surpass $60 billion in organic food sales in 2022, comprising 6% of the country’s total food sales.
  • Europe’s organic food market is on a similar trajectory, expected to exceed USD 186 billion by 2032, with a hefty 14% CAGR.

This growth is driven in part by:

  • Rising consumer demand for organically sourced products, driven by a desire for ingredient transparency in their foods
  • Government initiatives, such as those promoting organic farming practices in Canada, also significantly propel the market.
  • In the European Union, strict organic production and labelling regulations are setting high standards that bolster the growth of the organic food and beverage market.

Developing Nations

The organic food market is also witnessing rapid growth in developing nations. The Asia Pacific region, for example, is projected to grow at a rate of 14.8% from 2020 to 2027. This growth is expected to be stronger in developing countries due to increasing awareness of food safety concerns and a growing middle-class demographic.

India’s organic food and beverages market is expected to grow 21% in the coming years. This projection reflects a promising trend for the industry’s development. The majority of organic product exports from India are shipped to major markets in the U.S. (approximately 50%) and the European Union (EU) (about 37%).

Between 2019-2020 and 2021-2022, India exported a significant amount of organic products, reaching a total of 1,978,460,38 million tons (mt) valued at USD 2,480,24 million..

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These trends suggest significant market potential in developing nations, signalling a bright future for the organic food market in these regions.

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Key Players & Market Organic Food Strategies

Key Players & Market Organic Food Strategies

The organic food industry comprises vital players, each shaping market trends through growth strategies. These prominent players include:

  • Hain Celestial
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Dole Food Company
  • Dairy Farmers of America
  • General Mills
  • Danone
  • United Natural Foods
  • Amul
  • The Hershey Company
  • Amy’s Kitchen
  • Organic Valley
  • Conagra Brands
  • Nestlé
  • Eden Foods
  • SunOpta

Organic food certifications are increasingly necessary to consumers and serve as a marker of quality, transparency, and trust, bolstering the reputation of key market players. These leading companies hold significant market share in the organic valley and shape industry trends through various growth strategies.

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Prominent Companies

Leading companies in the organic food market include:

  • Whole Foods Market: Over 500 stores are committed to premium product standards and eco-conscious practices.
  • Costco Wholesale Corporation: They attract a loyal consumer base by offering organic food products in bulk at value prices through their exclusive warehouse clubs.
  • Kroger: They support the organic segment extensively across their United States locations with a wide array of organic and natural offerings.

Each retailer caters to increased consumer preference for organics, emphasizing the importance of high-quality standards and access to various choices. UNFI also plays a crucial role in driving the organic food market by distributing products to a supply network of over 30,000 retailers throughout North America.

New Entrants & Innovations

Both established players and new entrants and innovations shape the organic food market. The entry of new players in the market has intensified competition, contributing to the reduction in the price gap between organic and conventional food products. Some key factors driving this market include:

  • Increasing consumer awareness and demand for organic products
  • Growing concerns about health and the environment
  • Government support and regulations promoting organic farming
  • Technological advancements in organic farming practices

One prime event for showcasing innovations from new entrants in the organic food market is BioFach, the annual organic food and agriculture trade show held in Nuremberg, Germany. This event provides a platform for new players in conventional food products to showcase their products and innovations to a wide audience of industry professionals and consumers.

Over 36,000 trade visitors from 135 countries attended BioFach in 2023, providing a considerable platform for new entrants to gain visibility and connect with international markets. These new entrants bring novel ideas and products to the market, invigorating the industry and driving further growth.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Market Organic Food

Impact of COVID-19 on the Market Organic Food

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the organic food market. Despite the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, sales of organic foods increased in 2020, with organic packaged food growing at a rate higher than any other health and wellness category.

This growth trend during the economic crisis suggests a strong resilience and potential for future expansion in the organic food market, even in the frozen food sector.

Increased Demand for Healthier Foods

The pandemic has made preventative health a priority for many consumers, boosting the increasing demand for organic foods. Organic foods have experienced increased sales as consumers regard them as safer and healthier, attributable to GMO-free and having lower pesticide and antibiotic exposure.

With reduced expenses on travel and entertainment during the pandemic, some consumers have reallocated their funds to purchase higher-priced organic food. This shift in consumer behaviour during the pandemic underscores consumers’ value of health and wellness will likely continue post-pandemic.

Supply Chain Challenges

However, the pandemic has also brought significant supply chain challenges to the organic food market. These include:

  • Farm labour shortages that affected the production of organic foods
  • Transport challenges, including limited availability of shipping containers and delayed transit times
  • Border closures caused interruptions in the organic food supply chain, leading to delivery delays and increased costs.

These disruptions led to volatility in supply and demand in the organic food market. The pandemic has compounded the complexity of maintaining the integrity of organic products during transportation. Furthermore, supply chain complexities, such as varying international standards for organic certification, have made it difficult to ensure consistent quality and compliance in the organic food market.

Summary

The rise of the organic food market is a testament to shifting consumer preferences towards healthier, eco-friendly choices. From organic farming practices that promote environmental health to the growth strategies of key market players, the sector is experiencing robust growth and shows no signs of slowing down.

Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organic food market has demonstrated resilience and potential for future expansion. As consumers continue to prioritize health and wellness, the future of the organic food market looks promising, offering plenty of opportunities for both established players and new entrants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you identify organic food in the market?

Look for products labelled as “organic” or “biodynamic” for the best quality organic food in the market. Avoid products that are organic and are not certified as such.

What are the 4 types of organic food?

The four types of organic food are vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy products. Fresh fruit and a variety of options for fresh fruit, such as cabbage, apples, wheat, and milk, are included.

What is the market for organic food?

The global market for organic food is valued at USD 181.5 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 446.2 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 11.9% expected between 2023 and 2030.

What is the projected growth of the organic food market?

The organic food market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.60% from 2023 to 2032, which indicates a significant expansion in the demand for organic meat products in the coming years.

Which segment dominates the organic food market?

Fruits and vegetables dominate the organic food market, holding 42% of the global market share.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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