London—There has been worldwide surge in demand for organic and sustainable foods during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ecovia Intelligence (formerly known as Organic Monitor). Ecovia reports that retailers are seeing “hefty” sales increases for organic products, and that the boost is expected to continue.
With COVID-19 changing the way we shop and eat, the experts from Ecovia predicted that global organic product sales could grow to $150 billion within the next 5 years (up from $100 billion in 2018).
As more consumers shift to purchasing food online during shelter-in-place orders, online retailers are reporting the highest sales growth. According to a press release from Ecovia, Whole Foods Market has started limiting the number of its online grocery customers because of unprecedented demand; UK grocer Abel & Cole reported a 25% increase in sales ordersk and in India, online retailer Nourish Organic saw a 30% sales increase in March.
The organic shift isn’t just occurring in e-commerce, Ecovia added. Brick-and-mortar natural products retailers are attracting new shoppers, and existing customers are spending more.
“COVID-19 is raising consumer awareness of the relationship between nutrition and health,” according to the experts from Ecovia. “Consumers are buying more organic and healthy foods as they look to boost their personal immunity.”
Related: Nielsen Data Reveals Fresh Produce Sales Gains
COVID-19 Drives Consumers to Online Shopping, Delivery
Shoppers Stock Up On Healthy Items Amid COVID-19 Concerns
As WholeFoods Magazine has previously reported, the surge in demand is creating supply chain issues. “Many of the raw materials used by European and North American organic food companies are produced in Asia, Latin America and Africa,” Ecovia reported. “Lockdowns are disrupting supply chains. For instance, India is a major source of organic tea, herbs, spices & related ingredients. Emergency measures introduced in March have halted food processing and exports.”
Related: AHPA Reports Supply Chain Issues to USDA
CRN Compiles Member Concerns Regarding Supply Chain Disruption
Industry Works to Keep Stores Well-Stocked & Meet Consumer Needs
Ecovia will be covering the topic in depth with an update on the global organic & sustainable food market at upcoming editions of the Sustainable Foods Summit. The Asia-Pacific edition is scheduled for : September 7-8 in Singapore; the European edition is scheduled for September 16-18 in Amsterdam.