Sales of organic food and drink grew by 9.6% in 2019, according to new figures released by the Finnish Organic Food Association, Pro Luomu.
Pro Luomu estimates that organic sales totalled around EUR368 million last year. When the organisation first began tracking organic sales in 2011 they were at EUR 163 million, showing that the market more than doubled in value during the 2010s.
The 9.6% growth seen in 2019 is slightly up on the previous year (9%), comfortably outpacing growth in total grocery sales (up 2.6%). Organic food sales represent a a 2.6% share of total grocery sales in Finland.
As in recent years, the largest product groups in organic sales were fruit, milk and other liquid dairy products and vegetables. Over 20% of all organic grocery sales are sold in the fruit and vegetable aisles. Coffee and eggs were also popular organic products. Combined, these five most popular product groups account for about 45% of organic sales.
In relative terms, brewery products and frozen foods contributed the most to organic sales.
“Organic beers from small breweries, and in particular kombucha, spurred organic growth in the brewery product category. It is also gratifying to see growth in organic frozen foods. In addition to ice creams and berries, the supply of in-demand frozen vegetables has increased, which is also reflected in strong sales growth,” says Marja-Riitta Kottila, executive director of Pro Luomu.
Cheese and baby food also saw significant growth in organic sales. “The good growth in cheese is explained by the expansion in supply of sliced and low-fat cheeses. Organic food is popular in families with children, so the strong growth of baby foods is no surprise,” adds Kottila.
Pro Luomo attributes a flat performance by the organic milk sector to an overall decline in milk consumption .
Organic – a more common choice
Pro Luomo’s data shows that organic consumption became increasingly common in the 2010s. In 2019, 2.2 million adults reported buying organic at least monthly. The number has increased by half a million since 2010 (Organic Consumer Survey 2019, Pro Luomu ry).
“Organic is bought for many reasons. When consumers were asked to choose the most important reason why they chose to buy organic foods, the main reason was purity. Next came good taste and environmental friendliness, which have gained in importance in recent years,” says Kottila.
Photo: Courtesy, Pro Luomo.