When people see the word “organic”, they think of organic food. Although organic foods account for about 2% of total food sales throughout the world (and about 4% in the U.S.), that number continues to grow. In the U.S. alone, organic products are available in over 20,000 natural food stores and over 73% of conventional grocery stores and supermarkets. Now more than ever, consumers wishing to go organic have a large selection of products to choose from. Organic baby food, pastries, pet food, TV dinners, snacks and produce head the list. A recent survey by the United Soybean Board showed that U.S. consumers are willing to increase their spending on healthier foods.
More and more farmers are adopting organic methods. Corn, soybeans, poultry and dairy are the fasted-growing organic categories. Over 2.3 million acres have been dedicated to organic cropland and pasture in the United States (Economic Research Service, 2002). In some parts of the country, demand for organic milk is outpacing supply. Many consumers fear the effects of bovine growth hormone, which is widely used with non-organic cattle. As a result, more consumers are looking into organic beef. Concerns about hormones and antibiotics in poultry have led to the purchase of more organic eggs and organic, free-range chicken. Organic cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream have also hit the market.
Walk into almost any supermarket, and you can see an increasing selection of organic foods – from snacks, fruits and vegetables, pasta sauces, and even pet food. And why not? Conventionally processed foods contain additives that can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. More consumers are willing to pay more for foods that are free of trans fats, which are found in conventional processed foods. Half of the survey respondents said they would probably not purchase items with trans fats listed on the label.
There’s no better time than the present to “go organic.”
Below are links to the major organic food categories being offered today. These offerings will continue to develop. Our New Products page will highlight new organic foods as they arrive on the market. Web links will provide you with additional information and/or online ordering. Companies marked with an asterisk are personal favorites.
Many consumers have expressed concern over the number of acquisitions of organic product companies by multi-national conglomerates such as ConAgra and Coca-Cola.