The Canada Organic Trade Association, Canada, released new organic products consumer and sales data that shows the organic market is rapidly expanding.
For example, two in three Canadians (66%) are spending at least some of their weekly grocery budget on organic items, up a staggering 10 points from 56% in 2016.
Of the Canadian grocery shoppers who purchase organic, fruit and vegetables remains the most purchased category (76%, -1 point from 2016). This is well ahead of meat or poultry (28%, +4 points from 2016) or dairy products (27%, +1 point from 2016).
According to data supplied by the Nielsen Co., Chicago, organic pre-packaged foods account for 1.6% of total pre-packaged food sales in Canada. This category showed 7% growth from 2016-2017.
The regular grocery store or supermarket (80%, +5 points from 2016) remains the most popular destination for buying organic foods, followed by mass retailers (39% in 2017 and 2016) and natural health stores (24% in 2017 and 2016).
Millennials are key drivers of the organic market with 83% purchasing organic food and beverages -- the highest of any generation. Households with children are also more likely to buy organic than households without -- 19% of the weekly grocery bill for households with children goes toward organic items, compared to 12% for those with no children.
More than half (55%) now say their decision to buy organic products is influenced by recommendations from a health professional, an 11-point increase from 44% in 2016.
Asked to rate the trustworthiness of various claims about food, Canadians remain most likely to trust "Made in Canada" (55%, +2 points from 2016) and "Local" (54%, +1 point) over "Canada Organic certified" (44%, +5 points).
"Organic is the fastest growing category in agriculture in Canada, and has consistent sales growth across all product categories. Canadians are demanding more and more variety in their organic purchases, which is driving the market to keep up with this next generations' desire for more organic," says Tia Loftsgard, executive director.