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After a rough start, 2010 could prove to mark a significant sales turnaround for the U.S. organic industry. Sales at UNFI, Whole Foods, Hain Celestial and other companies entrenched in organic have all been up in recent months. But will it be enough to bring the industry as a whole back into double-digit revenue expansion?
Predictions for 2011
With the economy slowly improving but unemployment still at record levels and state governments running out of operating cash, predicting how organic will fare in 2011 is difficult.
Still, the OTA’s Bushway remains optimistic that organic sales will continue to go up. “People increasingly understand that they have to take responsibility for their own health,” she said. “As they become more educated and understand the connection between food and health, organic consumption and sales will continue to increase.”
One area where Bushway sees opportunity for growth is in certified organic meat. “We are seeing growing demand for organic meat but not enough supply,” Bushway said. “As we start to see more [organic meat] processing facilities come on line, we could see sales growth in that area.”
“It's hard to predict 2011 at this point,” added Pobst of CF Fresh, “but it does seem that overall the organic produce market is on the rebound.”
For a deeper, category-by-category dive into the U.S. organic industry, see Nutrition Business Journal’s 2010 Organic Report, which features sales data from the Organic Trade Association.