How Millennials are Driving the Organic Market


According to the Organic Trade Association, more than half of organic shoppers are millennials with children. Because this demographic typically shop more often (more trips in a week) with higher basket sizes than non-organic buyers, this is very appealing to retailers.

Organic food was first embraced by baby boomers – however these products were usually hard to find, and only represented in specialty health stores. Gen X-ers adopted this food standard as more information on GMO and organic foods and products came to light and the options to choose between the two became available. Millennials, most likely children of homes with organic products, now shop for the products they grew up with in their family.

A booming industry…

Sales of organic products in the United States rose 11% to a record $43.3 billion in 2015, outpacing the overall food market’s growth rate of 3%, according to a recent report from the Organic Trade Association. The U.S. organic industry posted its largest dollar gain ever last year with $4.2 billion in new sales, up from the $3.9 billion increase recorded in 2014. Loblaws, a Canadian mega-store with its own brand of food, President’s Choice, has also seen the significant growth of millennials driving the organic market. “Organic food has been an ever-growing segment of our sales, especially in the past three to five years,” says Kathlyne Ross, Vice-President of Product Development and Innovation for Loblaws.

… and a generation that demands transparency

Millennials are not only driving the organics market forward, but also encouraging brand transparency. They want to know what goes into their food and product choices, where products are sourced from, and what impacts these brands have both locally and globally. Seeing the organic label brings a sense of trust, as the trademark isn’t easy for food brands to obtain.

More opportunities for organic brands 

Organic products span more than just the Health and Wellness industry – everything from Home and Housewares, Personal Care and Beauty, Pet, Apparel, Kids, Babies and Toys and, of course, the Food and Beverage industry all carry organic options. As the demand continues to grow, this provides a great opportunity for craft brands wanting to connect with larger retailers who are looking to expand their assortment of organic products, thus expanding their consumer base.