In the United States, systematic collection of price data for organic products is limited. There have been a few studies of farm-level, wholesale and retail organic price data, and these have shown significant organic premiums for most fruits, vegetables, grains and milk.
A study conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) surveyed manufacturers, distributors and retailers about the organic industry. The survey indicated that U.S. sales of organic products, both food and and non-food, have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $31.5 billion in 2011, increasing 9.5 percent in the last year. Organic food sales alone rose 9.4 percent, totaling $29.2 billion. Organic non-food sales rose 11 percent, totaling nearly $2.2 billion.
Other findings of OTA’s Organic Industry Overview include:
- •As of 2011, 4.2 percent of all U.S. food sales were organic.
- •The organic food sector grew by $2.5 billion during 2011; close to 50 percent of that growth was contributed by fruit and vegetable sales.
- •Meat, poultry and fish sales experienced the fastest growth, increasing 13 percent from 2010.
- •Organic dairy captured nearly 6 percent of the total U.S. market for dairy products.
- •Over $2 billion worth of organic fiber, cosmetics and household products were sold in 2011.
Sales of organic products have remained strong. The Mintel market research company found that frequent buyers of organics were remaining loyal but likely to purchase cheaper organic products. Infrequent buyers of organics, on the other hand, were likely to select fewer organic products.
In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau released trade data for the organic agricultural product codes. An analysis of the data available for 2011 showed that the 23 commodities being tracked at that time accounted for more than $412 million in export sales, which was about evenly split between fruits and vegetables. Of the organic fruits analyzed, grapes, apples, and cherries had the highest export sales.
Beginning in January 2014, organic products certified in Japan or the United States may be sold as organic in either country. U.S. organic farmers and processors will now have access to the growing Japanese organic market.