OTTAWA: New research reveals that organic products sold in Canada now account for 3.2 percent of all grocery sales. Canadian consumers are spending $6.9 billion annually on organic products.
This is up from 2.6 percent and $5.4 billion in 2017. The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) commissioned Leger 360 to poll 1,000 consumers nationally in August to gauge the perception and appetite for organic food during the pandemic.
Organic food consumers tend to be younger, beginning with centennials (age 18-24) for whom organic products comprise 46 percent of their weekly grocery purchases.
For millennials (age 25-34) organic products are 32 percent of their weekly grocery purchase. This is followed by xennials (age 35-44) at 25 percent. Of those who buy organic groceries, fruits and vegetables are purchased most often—roughly eight-in-ten (78 per cent) usually buy organic fruits and vegetables.
Purchases of meat and poultry grew from 26 percent in 2016 to 32 percent in 2020—the largest increase of any product category.
Eight-in-ten (82 per cent) Canadians who buy organic food regularly shop for organic food at regular grocery stores, up from 75 per cent in 2016.
More than four-in-ten (45 per cent) shop for organic products at mass retailers (e.g. Walmart, Costco), up from 39% in 2016.
One-third of consumers (32 per cent) buy organic food directly from farmers.