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Organic Food Sales Increase in 2022


Results of the annual organic industry survey conducted by the Nutrition Business Journal on behalf of the Organic Trade Association were recently released.  The survey was conducted from January 13th through April 4th 2022 and incorporated a range of data sources including 100 private and public-quoted companies.


Total organic food sales increased by four percent to $61.7 billion from the previous year.  Organic produce represented 36 percent of organic food sales amounting to $22 billion and represented 15 percent of all U.S. fruits and vegetables sales.  Dairy and eggs combined attained $7.9 billion, up seven percent from the previous year.  Organic eggs sales were up by 11 percent to $1.2 billion.  Nielsen data suggested that 6.9 percent of eggs were sold as organic down 8.2 percent in volume but up 17 percent in value for a 52-week period ending March 25th 2023. The differences among volumes arising from surveys of organic egg consumption are reminiscent of a comment by Benjamin Disraeli  “There are lies, damned lies and then statistics!”


The increase in sales of organic eggs cannot be reconciled with the numbers of hens producing under the certified organic seal as released by the USDA each month. An approximate complement of 18 million hens represented 5.5 percent of a nominal national flock of 325 million. It must be concluded that in previous years and through 2022, a proportion of organic eggs were marketed as cage-free.