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US: Organic sales grow by 17.1 percent in 2008

Sales of organic products in the USA, both food and non-food, reached 24.6 billion US Dollars by the end of 2008, growing an impressive 17.1 % over 2007 sales despite tough economic times, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA).

Organic Trade Association OTA

Cover OTA Organic Industry Survey 2009

Growth of the US market for organic food 1997-2008. Source: OTA, USA-Greenfield. Data 2008 according to USDA. Graph, FiBL, CH-Frick


While the overall economy has been losing ground, sales of organic products reflect very strong growth during 2008. “Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director.

The survey, conducted by Lieberman Research Group on behalf of OTA, measured the growth of U.S. sales of organic foods and beverages as well as non-food categories such as organic fibers, personal care products and pet foods during 2008. Results show organic food sales grew in 2008 by 15.8 percent to reach $22.9 billion, while organic non-food sales grew by an astounding 39.4 percent to reach $1.648 billion. As a result, organic food sales now account for approximately 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the United States.

“This marks another milestone for the organic food market,” said Bushway.

With tough economic times, consumers have used various strategies in continuing to buy organic products. Because most venues now offer organic products, consumers have the opportunity to shop around. Increased use of coupons, the proliferation of private label brands, and value-positioned products offered by major organic brands all have contributed to increased sales.

The final report of the Organic Trade Association’s 2009 Organic Industry Survey is now available for purchase. Orders can be placed online at www.ota.com/bookstore/2.html.

Source: Press release at the OTA Homepage of May 5, 2009: U.S. organic sales grow by a whopping 17.1 percent in 2008

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