The growth in demand among US consumers for organic fresh produce shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. According to data from the 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report published by Organic Produce Network and Category Partners, sales of organic fresh produce were up by 5.5% to over $9 billion for the first time, outpacing conventionally grown produce in terms of both sales and volume. Organic produce now accounts for 12% of the market share.
The most valuable categories in 2021 were packaged salads ($1.55 million), berries ($1.48 million), and apples ($664 million), while the leaders in percentage growth were berries (13.9%), lettuce (10.2%), and apples (6.3%).
The price differential compared with conventional products varied widely. At the top were packaged salads, with a $1.40 per kg premium compared to conventional. The premium for berries was in the range of approximately $0.90-1.40 per kg. At the bottom were bananas, at 15 cents per pound.
Sales of organics in volume terms were up by 2% Y-O-Y, compared to -3.3% for conventional produce. Organic bananas led in volume with 248,000 tons, an increase of 3.4% over 2021.