You’re trying to eat healthy, which means choosing plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. As you wander down the aisle at the supermarket you realize there’s another choice to make: should you buy organic? These days, most consumers would answer yes to that question. Despite the heftier price tag, sales of organic food items continues to grow. According to USA Today the sales of organic food is up to 8.4%, hitting a record of 43 billion in 2016 sales. Another interesting stat about organic food is that most consumers are only concerned with purchasing organic items if they are fruits and vegetables, according to an Organic Industry Survey from 2017, about 40% of all organic food sales were in produce.
Whether buying organic produce or protein over the past few years, in general, organic food is steadily making its way into consumers shopping carts and staying there. In fact, a Food Dive article stated that 82.3% of the country’s 117 million households contain some sort of organic food. Consumers are not the only ones hopping on the organic bandwagon. Large food manufacturers, like Coca-Cola, are wasting no time getting in on this trend too. For Example, Campbell Soup created an organic baby food line and Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Markets even has the tech world obsessing over the idea of eating organically. In fact, the General Mills organic products have seen a whopping 350% growth in the last 5 years! With huge companies buying into this trend there is no doubt it is here for the long hall.
Although this trend is serving well for some, American farmers are having trouble keeping up with the massive increase in demand for organic produce. The process of transitioning produce from non-organic to organic takes about three years, and growing organic food is much more expensive once the transition has happened, causing a massive headache for the farming industry.
The craziest part about this whole trend is that consumers, myself included, are so obsessed with organic labeled foods because we think they are much healthier, but in reality scientists are not 100% if consuming food that’s never been exposed to pesticides actually has a lasting impact on health! Regardless, with 44% of shoppers willing to pay 20% more for organic ingredients I don’t see why markets, grocers, and restaurants wouldn’t stock their shelves with organic foods.