Sales of organic fresh fruit and vegetables in the US climbed 9.3% Y-O-Y in the first 3 months of 2021, reaching $2.2 billion, according to Organic Produce Network data. Retail sales grew in all organic segments due to restaurant closures and outpaced conventional produce sales, which rose by only 2.9%. In volume terms, sales of organic fresh produce grew by 5.7%, while sales of conventional produce slipped 0.6%.
Of the top 10 categories, only organic carrots and apples dropped in value and volume during the first quarter. Packaged salads remain the largest organic segment, accounting for 17% of all organic sales. Sales of organic packaged salads grew by 9.5% in value during the first quarter of 2021. Another key category is organic berries, which accounted for around 15% of total organic produce sales during the first quarter. Sales of berries increased by 8.8% during the first 3 months of 2021.
Matt Seeley, CEO of Organic Produce Network, said:
“Once again, sales of organic fresh produce continue to be a major growth opportunity for retailers across the country. At the same time, as the country enters a post-COVID environment, with restaurants reopening and other foodservice options available, it appears the double-digit growth rate will be slowing.”