Organic Report Fall 2021 - Flipbook - Page 27
To choose which items to feature in the Basket, we began by looking at the division of sales between the major food categories
as reported by the Organic Trade Association’s long running Organic Industry Survey.
While the pandemic accelerated grocery spending and undermined dietary trends, ratios of spending by category held steady. As
a result, the Basket contains items from each of the major categories tracked by the Survey, roughly in proportion to sales.
Several data points are reported for each of the items in the Organic Market Basket:
Average Retail Price – The average cost a shopper might pay across all retail outlets. This measure flattens out the effect of
promotional pricing strategies, as well as pricing differences between individual retailers.
Average Retail Price percent change – The percentage by which an item’s average retail price changed this period, vs. the same
period 52 weeks ago. For individual items, changes can indicate retailers or manufacturers have adjusted pricing. For produce
items, prices often rise and fall in line with the harvest season.
Dollar / Unit Volume – Sales increases (or decreases) can be viewed in terms of changes to either dollar or unit volume. It is
helpful to look at these factors together, although because they are closely related; a rise in dollar volume without a
corresponding change to unit volume could point to a price increase, while a rise in unit sales is an expected outcome of a
decrease in price.
Total Basket – Where things get interesting — At the bottom of the chart, the prices are summed up to a grand total for the
basket. It is fascinating to look in on individual products in the basket, but it is tricky to draw conclusions about the organic retail
market by looking at a single item. However, when we look at pricing trends, dollar, and unit volume for all 20 items, we can
begin to see a bigger picture emerge.
What can we learn from this Organic Market Basket?
Shopping patterns are getting back to what we’d expect. A year ago, we were stocking our pantries with canned foods and
dry goods. Produce and other perishable items are beginning to move back into the fore, as people are making more trips to
the market. These categories have driven growth and innovation in organic for years, and it will be interesting to watch this space
as supply chain issues resolve, and brands and retailers reprioritize variety over focusing on maintaining stock in the basics.
Organic shoppers don’t always choose the lowest priced option. For many products in the Basket, it is easy to find lowercost organic alternatives on the shelf. Organic shoppers vote with their dollars, and while price is one decision point, it’s not
the only one. Sometimes that means they choose the product with the most authentic brand message or climate commitment.
Other times they zero in on a favorite brand to treat themselves and their loved ones — even if it comes at a premium.
Inflation is evident, but price changes for organic are in line with the rest of the food industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics estimated food prices would rise 2-3% in 2021, while monthly reports have shown the actual increases to be closer
to 3-5%, depending on the category. Pent-up demand, and rising input, freight, and labor costs are blamed for the increasing
prices, and these are influences from which organic products are not immune.
Organic is building on the gains it saw in 2020. While the Basket does not examine all categories, the figures we can see
suggest that the industry continues to grow – if modestly – from the ambitious sales totals it achieved in 2020.
The Organic Market Basket will be updated quarterly in partnership with SPINS,
and shared with Organic Trade Association members as a benefit of membership.
Organic Trade Association members can download the full data set for a closer look at
the trends for the past 52 weeks and the ability to delineate by channel.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the spreadsheet.
Organic Report • Fall 2021