Global Organic Food Sales Break USD 100 Billion Barrier

Worldwide organic food & drink sales surpassed USD 100 billion for the first time in 2018. New research by Ecovia Intelligence shows that global sales increased by 6% to USD 105 billion last year.


According to a new report titled Global Organic Food & Drink Market Trends & Outlook (, the largest markets for organic products are in North America and Europe. The combined revenue share of these two regions is 90%. Although sales remain concentrated in the ‘western world’, the share has declined from 97% in 2005. A number of countries with a strong tradition of exporting organic crops are now developing strong internal markets; these countries include China, India, and Brazil.


In terms of country markets, the US has the largest market for organic food & drink, comprising about 45% of global sales. The German, French, Italian and Canadian markets are the next largest. In terms of market share, Denmark leads with almost 14% share of retail food sales. The highest spenders of organic products are in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Austria.


Rising consumer awareness of organic products and widening availability are two major drivers of global growth. Distribution of organic foods is increasing in supermarkets, discounters, drugstores, pharmacies, and the catering & foodservice sector. Organic ingredients are being used in a growing number of European and North American foodservice establishments. Chained outlets, including McDonald’s and Pret A Manger, are also making commitments to organic product sourcing.


Retailer private labels are wielding great influence in the organic food industry. All leading food retailers in North America and Europe are marketing organic foods under private labels. Coop Switzerland is most successful with its Naturaplan brand; housing 2,500 products, it accounts for over 40% of organic food sales in the country. It is one of a growing number of retailer private labels that generate over USD 1 billion sales.


Taking a historic perspective, organic is a major success story in the sustainable products industry. Organic products were first introduced in the 1990s; retail sales increased from a few billion dollars to USD 18 billion in 2000, USD 59 billion in 2010, and now over USD 100 billion. In spite of this meteoric growth, the market share of organic foods remains below 1% in countries outside Europe and North America.


According to Mr. Amarjit Sahota (Founder of Ecovia Intelligence, formerly known as Organic Monitor) who has been tracking the global organic products market for over 20 years, there are many challenges ahead. The first is demand concentration: organic agriculture is now practiced in 181 countries, however the bulk of sales are from the affluent countries. Organic is perceived as a rich man’s luxury in many parts of the world. Another challenge is growing number of national and private organic standards; almost 100 countries now have national standards. Outside the major ‘organic trading blocs’, there is no harmonisation of organic standards and very few equivalency agreements.


There is also growing competition from the growing plethora of sustainability schemes and ethical labels. Organic remains the premier and dominant eco-label in the food industry, however adoption rates for many agricultural commodities are lagging. For instance, over a quarter of all coffee and cocoa grown is now certified according to a sustainability scheme. Organic’s share has been overtaken by other schemes, such as Fairtrade, UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance. The challenge is to maintain organic’s pole position in an increasing ‘labelised’ food industry.


An update on the global organic food & drink market, as well as sustainability schemes and eco-labels, will be given at the following events…


Organic Food Masterclass: Future Evolution  (8 May, New York)

Sustainable Foods Summit Europe  (13-14 June, Amsterdam)

Sustainable Foods Summit Asia-Pacific  (2-3 September, Bali)


About the Sustainable Foods Summit

The aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit is to explore new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry by discussing key industry issues in a high-level forum. The 11th European edition will be hosted at the Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam on 13-14th June 2019, whilst the 3rd Asia-Pacific edition will take place in Bali on 2-3rd September. More information is available from


About the Organic Food Masterclass

Organized by Ecovia Intelligence, the Organic Food Masterclass will take place at Park Central New York on 8th May 2019. For 15 years, we have been hosting masterclasses and workshops at various international locations that include London, Paris, Nuremberg, Munich, Milan, Bologna, Barcelona, New York, San Francisco, São Paulo, Auckland, Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong. More details are on


About Ecovia Intelligence

Ecovia Intelligence (formerly known as Organic Monitor) is a specialist research, consulting & training company that focuses on global ethical product industries. Since 2001, we have been tracking the global organic products industry.

Our services portfolio comprises market research publications, business & sustainability consulting, technical research, seminars & workshops, and sustainability summits. Visit us at


Further Information

For further information, please contact:


Ms. Katie Giorgadze

PR & Marketing Events Assistant

Ecovia Intelligence

Tel: (44) 20 8567 0788