American consumers’ desires for organic products continue to gain steam. According to data from the Washington, D.C.-based Organic Trade Association (OTA), sales of organic products reached $35.1 billion in 2013, an increase of 11.5 percent compared with the previous year. Of those total sales, organic foods and beverages represented 92 percent at $32.3 billion. Organic beverages accounted for approximately 12 percent of total organic food and beverage sales at $4 billion, the OTA notes.
Although organic food and beverage sales are faring well, the retail channels associated with them are seeing increasing competition from traditional channels such as supermarkets, mass merchandisers and drug stores. According to Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts’ July report “Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition,” mass-market retail outlets will account for 49 percent of dollar sales for natural and organic foods and beverages in 2014. In comparison, the natural foods channel, which includes Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, smaller regional natural foods chains, and independent natural foods stores, will account for 41 percent.