The value of organics in Canada has tripled since 2006, and $3 billion of the 2012 total was in the food and non-alcoholic beverage category, according to research by the Ottawa-based Canada Organic Trade Association.
The report was made using association research and data provided by the Nielsen Co., Stats Canada and other sources, said Shauna MacKinnon, the association’s projects and development manager.
The report also found that 58% of all Canadian reported buying organic products every week in 2012.
The report did not track the value of organic produce, but MacKinnon said that according to Nielsen, the value of fresh organic fruit and vegetables at conventional Canadian retailers was $335.6 million, 34% of all organic sales.
Association officials traced the growth in organics in part to government action on organics.
“At the industry’s urging, the government implemented strict national standards and label requirements in 2009 to uphold consumer confidence in organic claims” Matthew Holmes, the association’s executive director, said in a news release. “So it’s tremendously gratifying to see this result in such strong market growth and continued consumer commitment to organic.”
Organic usage was particularly strong in some provinces, according to the study. In British Columbia, for instance, two-thirds of consumers are buying organic groceries weekly. In Vancouver, it jumps to more than three-quarters.
“We are pleased to see growing consumer demand and impressive sales growth from mainstream retail to direct-to-consumer channels,” Rebecca Kneen, co-president of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia, said in the release.
The Canada Organic Trade Association will have a detailed national market and consumer analysis available in September.