July 22, 2021

Organic fresh produce sales in the United States increased 4% year-on-year and neared €2 billion in the second quarter of 2021, according to the latest market report.

The Q2 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report, released by Organic Produce Network and Category Partners, highlighted that in the second quarter of last year, the Covid pandemic shut down most foodservice, and supermarket sales jumped as people began making more food at home. 

Steve Lutz, Senior Vice President of Insights and Innovation at Category Partners, said that as the pandemic slows and foodservice is reopening, conventionally grown fresh produce supermarket sales are showing a corresponding decline—dollar sales are down 3.3%, and volume is down by 8.6%, compared to Q2 2020. 

Organic fresh produce, on the other hand, is up 4.1% in sales and 0.2% in volume, compared to Q2 2020.

Lutz said: “It’s apparent that consumer supermarket food purchases now increasingly reflect the more traditional buying trends versus COVID-inspired purchasing changes. It is also encouraging that even though consumer purchases of conventional produce were lower than Q2 2020, organic produce continued to generate growth.”

Lutz also highlighted other notable changes.

“The berry category has, for the first time, displaced packaged salads as the number one organic category in dollar sales, having increased 19% y-o-y, with volume up 16% in the same time frame. Organic berry sales topped €370 million for the quarter.

“The top 10 organic categories were a mixed bag: berries, apples, lettuce, bananas, and citrus showed sales gains, while packaged salads, herbs, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes showed modest declines.”

As the US comes out of the pandemic, and foodservice channels have reopened, the widespread pantry loading that occurred during the second quarter of last year has subsided.

Matt Seeley, Chief Executive of Organic Produce Network, said: “The result is that many produce categories showed little, if any, growth in Q2 2021 when compared to last year. The fact remains organic fresh produce continued to generate year-over-year growth in sales and volume, while conventional produce declined against the same period last year.”

Organic sales and volume declined in the Western part of the United States, although it still lead the country in total sales and volume. The Northeast region, on the other hand, saw a year-on-year jump in dollar sales by 7.7% and a 3.6% volume increase.

Extenda strengthens Andalusia’s fruit and vegetable sector’s position in Europe

Extenda, the Andalusian Agency for Exports and Foreign Promotion, has carried out two direct commercial missions in two of the main markets of the European continent, France and the United Kingdom, the second and third destination for Andalusia’s horticultural sector, respectively, focused on the organic subsector.

The missions allowed 19 Andalusian companies to contact 11 British and French importers to expand their commercial synergies and promote new growth in sales in two territories where Andalusia managed to export horticultural products worth 855 million euro in the first four months of 2021.

According to data from Extenda, an entity dependent on the Ministry of the Presidency, Public Administration, and the Interior, the organic market achieves an annual turnover of €120m in France, the second-biggest producing country after Spain, in terms of area, and ranks second in Europe in terms of consumption of organic products after Germany, with an average of €178 per inhabitant per year.

Arturo Bernal, Chief Executive of Extenda, said: “The way consumers understand food has changed due to the Covid health crisis and climate challenge. This has led to a greater demand for quality products that are beneficial for health, such as organic products. Andalusian companies should see this as an opportunity to expand their business.

“Andalusia is the leading community in Spain in organic area, with more than one million hectares, triple that of the following community, with a growth of 3.1% in 2020, which reflects a firm commitment to respond to the new demands of very demanding markets, such as the European markets, which also helps to reinforce our leadership in fruit and vegetable exports.”

For a comparison on how the organic produce sector is performing in other markets, click here

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