Germany is the world’s largest market for organic food outside the US, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Sales of organic food in Germany have steeply increased over the last couple of years and peaked in 2014 with organic food sales reaching over €7.9bn, the US government department said in a new report. That’s nearly a third of the total organic food sales in the European Union and just about 4% of the total food sales in Germany, it added.
Since 2000, sales of organic food in Germany have more than tripled, but domestic production has failed to keep pace and the country is heavily dependent on imports in order to meet consumer demand.
Salmon, tree nuts, fruits and vegetables, as well as processed food products, were among the most sought-after organic foods. Five of the six largest organic food chains are regional or local, USDA said, with only Denn’s Biomarkt operating stores nationwide. Between them, the six operators took sales of almost $1bn in 2014.
“Organic food sales in Germany are split between traditional food retail companies and specialist organic food stores. Major driver for the growth in organic food sales was the expansion of specialist organic retail shops in recent years. Traditional food retail accounts for one half of the organic food sales in Germany, and the other half goes to organic retail shops and specialty shops like bakeries, butchers, fruit and vegetable stores, open markets or direct sales from the farm,” the USDA report continued.
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