organic food sign
Purchases of organic meat, poultry products increased 4 points.
TORONTO – Two in three Canadian consumers, or 66 percent, spend at least some of their weekly grocery budget on organic items, a 10 percent increase from a year ago, according to consumer and sales data released by the Canada Organic Trade Association in advance of an extensive organic sector report to be released in the fall.

“Organic is the fastest growing category in agriculture in Canada and has consistent sales growth across all product categories,” Tia Loftsgard, executive director, Canada Organic Trade Association, said in a statement. “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.”

Among Canadian consumers that purchase organic, fruit and vegetables were the most purchased category at 76 percent, down 1 point from 2016. The category of meat or poultry came in second at 28 percent, which was 4 points higher from 2016.  Dairy products were third at 27 percent, which was 1 point higher from a year ago.

Driving growth in Canada’s organic foods space are millennials, with 83 percent purchasing organic food and beverages — the highest of any generation.

Households with children were more likely to buy organic than households without, according to Canada Organic Trade Association data. Nineteen percent of the weekly grocery bill for households with children was spent on organic items compared with 12 percent for households with no children.

More than half (55 percent) of consumers said recommendations from a health professional influenced their decision to buy organic products, up 11 points from 44 percent in 2016.

“We live in an age of transparency where consumers have a heightened interest in the food they eat,” said Kathlyne Ross, vice president, Food Product Development, Loblaw Companies Ltd. “We want Canadians to love and feel good about the products they buy from us, and to trust that they are sourced responsibly and ethically.

“Sixteen years ago, we launched PC Organics to provide Canadians with accessible, reasonably priced organic foods,” Ross said. “Since that time the category has grown exponentially and PC Organics now has more than 250 different products in a wide range of categories, ranging from produce and pasta to baby food and yogurt.”

The Canada Organic Trade Association commissioned an online consumer research study using the Ipsos I-Say panel. The survey included 1,002 participants aged 18 and over who completed the poll online between May 30 and June 4, 2017.