Canada’s organic market worth $3.7 billion - The Packer

Canada’s organic market worth $3.7 billion

04/12/2013 03:40:00 PM
Andy Nelson

(UPDATED COVERAGE, 1:49 p.m., April 16) Canada’s organic market was worth $3.7 billion in 2012, according to a new report.

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.

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Ben H    
Virginia  |  April, 13, 2013 at 09:05 PM

I really question these figures, especially the 58% reported buying Organic every week. In the Maritmes there simply is not much Organic available. Canadians have less available income for food shopping than US and I have never seen the Organic food displayed in Grocery Stores in anything like the volume it is here. I think this might be one of those articles where the authors hope nobody is fact checking, or the research was done at lunch with friends and then the figures expanded to cover the whole country.

Canada  |  May, 31, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Re: "I really question these figures..." I question your credentials to justify commenting on Canadian Organic - sales, market place, and shopping statistics. These findings were funded provided by the Canada Organic Trade Association (an affiliate of the U.S. based Organic Trade association). Our retail company were one of many to provide actual sales data for this study, (and a similar OTA - U.S. based study). Their credentials and referable data speak for themselves. Also not sure how you substantiate the comment on comparable disposable income? Sounds like something you came up with at your breakfast table. I pulled the following information from a Government of Canada website, (in regards to U.S. market comparisons). "Consumers in both countries allocate less than 15% of their total annual budgets to food purchases, which is among the lowest in the world." My apologies for other reading this response, my intent is not to get into a us vs. them. I'm just calling our the previous post for what it is - not so veiled, organic bashing.

Vancovuer, BC  |  May, 06, 2013 at 04:36 PM

I find it quite interesting that almost every major retailer, and many of the independent in Canada, do have fresh organic produce sections. Living in Vancouver it is quite often easy to pick up an organic item - often at price parity to non organics. The report does state product so that term itself must be rather broad in nature - ie. from body care products to beverages (including beer and wines); from packaged goods to fresh produce. Of course these numbers are still quite small in comparison to non-organic items sold. Cheer

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