Organic food continues to win market share

Millennials and young families are the biggest factors in the ‘staggering’ jump in the popularity 
of organic

More and more people are regularly buying organic food — usually produce and usually at a mainstream grocery store — a new survey has found.
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The Canada Organic Trade Association marked National Organic Week earlier this month by releasing new data that shows a “staggering” increase in the number of Canadians who are buying organic groceries every week.

An online consumer research study done earlier this year found that organic food is on the weekly shopping list of two in three Canadians — “up a staggering 10 points from 56 per cent in 2016,” the association said in a news release.

Most buy their organic food at “regular” stores, it said.

“We live in an age of transparency where consumers have a heightened interest in the food they eat,” Kathlyne Ross, Loblaw’s vice-president of food product development, said in the release.

“Sixteen years ago we launched PC Organics to provide Canadians with accessible, reasonably priced organic foods. Since that time the category has grown exponentially and PC Organics now has more than 250 different products in a wide range of categories, ranging from produce and pasta to baby food and yogurt.”

Fruit and vegetables are the most popular organic food item followed by meat/poultry and dairy products, the survey of a consumer panel of more than 1,000 people set up by Ipsos Canada found.

“Millennials are key drivers of the organic market with 83 per cent purchasing organic food and beverages — the highest of any generation,” the association said in its news release. “Households with children are also more likely to buy organic than households without — 19 per cent of the weekly grocery bill for households with children goes toward organic items, compared to 12 per cent for those with no children.”

The survey also asked why people are buying organic food.

“More than half (55 per cent) now say their decision to buy organic products is influenced by recommendations from a health professional, an 11-point increase from 44 per cent in 2016,” the news release stated.

However, the association did not define “health professional.”

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