How the COVID-19 Pandemic has Changed the Organics Industry
As we look back at the last year, we have noticed sizable changes in our customer numbers and basket sizes. We decided to do a little digging to see just how Covid-19 has affected the organic food industry and what kind of positive up-swings we could have in store for us, if any. Also, we looked at how has the pandemic changed the populations' food priorities.
"Never before has the food we provide our families been more important, and consumers have turned to the trusted Organic label. Many solid-growth organic categories have seen demand exploding. Organic produce sales for one, after jumping by more than 50 percent in the early days of kitchen stocking, were up more than 20 percent in the spring of 2020. Other categories experiencing softer growth have been seeing big boosts in demand: the run on groceries meant organic milk was in high demand, for example, and sales of organic eggs skyrocketed. Packaged and frozen organic foods saw double-digit growth as consumers upped at-home meal preparation.
Today’s interest in organic may be intensified, but organic’s growing popularity isn’t new. Consumers are eating more organic food and using more organic products than ever before, according to the 2020 Organic Industry Survey released Tuesday by the Organic Trade Association. The U.S. organic sector posted a banner year in 2019, with organic sales in the food and non-food markets totaling a record $55.1 billion, up a solid 5 percent from the previous year." ***from ota.com***
Nick Green Co-Founder/CEO of Thrive Market
"From a high level, I would expect to see continued growth in organic and even stronger growth in regenerative organic. This will come from consumers, who will increasingly prioritize health and better-for-you ingredients, and farmers in the supply chain shifting toward regenerative practices. We are hearing from more and more growers that they are taking steps to incorporate cover crops and create greater biodiversity on their farms.
We also have been actively participating in a number of regenerative-focused conferences and working groups that have been occurring with much greater frequency than ever before. It should be a very exciting year for organic."
Maggie Jones Patton Co-Founder of Bitsy’s
"As we look into 2021, our biggest prediction in organics is the growth of “co-snacking,” as my Bitsy’s Co-Founder Gabrielle Union has coined it.
More than ever before, we’ve been in close quarters with our children, and we eat each other’s food. Families today are less about seeking out separate items to suit every member of the household and more about good things that can be shared together.
We see a need for more options that are flavor-forward and appeal to the whole family. COVID-19 brought many families who were buying organic back to the conventional grocery aisle, seeking out affordability and comfort snacking.
Now, it’s time for organics and healthier options to focus on what’s realistic when it comes to tightening budgets and foods that mom, dad and kids all are going to enjoy. Retailers will need to partner with family-focused food brands to ensure that during this time of reduced spending and increased need for broad appeal, organics will stay at the table."
***Please let the Co-op know about any brands you think your family will enjoy and we will look into them!***
Tony Antoci CEO of Erewhon
"At Erewhon, we have always been about rediscovering the basics and foundation of health and wellness, and as we head into 2021, self-care is more important than ever.
While we have a very educated customer base, we are also seeing that people who have not traditionally been into health are now making it a serious priority. Organic, regenerative organic and Biodynamic products will definitely see continued growth this year, as shoppers are more conscious about what they are putting into their bodies and who is growing their food."