Organic fruits and vegetables are all the rage. More than ever before, consumers are trafficking the organic produce aisle with over half of all households in the U.S. now purchasing organic produce products, according to a report on the produce-buying habits of Americans compiled for the Organic Trade Association by Nielsen. The sale of organic bananas alone – now a $165 million market – soared by more than 30 percent last year. Organic “value-added” vegetables such as chopped kale, peeled carrots and ready-to-cook squash, grew 54 percent in 2015 to almost $150 million.
“The organic produce market is growing and strong, and it is driving trends in produce innovation across the board,” says Laura Batcha, executive director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
According to the OTA 2016 Organic Industry Survey released in May, fresh organic produce sales in the U.S. reached $13 billion in 2015, this includes $5.7 billion worth of organic produce sold in the mass market, $4.7 billion sold by specialty and natural retailers and $2.7 billion in direct sales.
Standout organic products identified in the report include:
Organic bananas: Sales up a solid 33 percent from a year ago.
Organic blackberries: Sales up a sharp 61 percent from a year ago.
Organic salad greens and baby carrots: Sales of each up 11 percent versus a year ago.
Organic Pink Lady Apples: Sales almost double (up 96 percent) that of a year ago.