The sales of organic produce jumped to 22% in March as opposed to just 1.8% in January and February 2020. This outpaced the growth of sales of conventional and processed food. Despite such a great-looking statistic, does it mean that organic food products will take over conventional products? The Covid-19 pandemic already has an unprecedented impact on our lives, but it is poised to have an even more dramatic effect on the organic food sector.
Before the pandemic, only a handful of people bought and consumed organic food. The consumption of purely organic food, after all, complements IBD treatment, which affects the lives of some 1.6 million Americans. Many of these are diagnosed before the age of 35, so it makes sense that people as young as 18 are seeing the potentials and promises of organic food.
Although the organic industry has been making strides in the past couple of years, it was not until the pandemic was announced in March that the industry truly made a mark. The threat to people’s health pushed many families to take stock of the food they consume. They’ve become more conscious of what they put on the table, and what they are teaching their children in terms of food consumption.
The interest in the organic industry is nothing new. Before the pandemic, the 2020 Organic Industry Survey by the Organic Trade Association said that organic sales in the food and non-food markets in the US totaled $55.1 billion in 2019. That’s up 5% from a year before. Food sales comprise $50.1 billion of that $55.1 billion while non-food fills up the rest of the $5 billion.
Another survey made before the pandemic showed that consumers are increasingly seeking organic food because they want to live healthier lifestyles. The pandemic increased that desire to eat clean and healthy food. It helps also that there was a sudden concern about the safety of food products in the processing plants.
The trajectory is that the organic food industry will grow well until 2025. But although the pandemic helped boost consumption of organic foods, it might also slow its growth. As economies begin to feel the impact of the pandemic, businesses have shut down and consumers are spending less. Organic food is infamous for its high price tags compared to conventional food products.
The economy is making people price-sensitive. While they trust organic labels, the fact that many of them have lost their jobs is going to give them a pause. Experts are seeing that while there could be a slowdown in organic food consumption, the organic non-food sector can experience a boost because of organic vitamins and immunity-boosting products.
The Covid-19 pandemic placed the world in such extraordinary and impactful times. Even experts are having a hard time predicting what can happen in the next couple of years. What they are sure of is that people will continue to be interested in organic food and non-food products. Even if they have a hard time affording these products, they will find ways to do so for the sake of their health and that of their families’.