Organic Distribution & Retail Structure


The chart above is based on data from the Organic Trade Association. Sales of organic food have increased approximately 20% annually since 1990. The Organic Agriculture Centre notes similar trends in Canada and conservatively estimates annual sales of at least C$1 billion in 2006.



Mass market channels accounted for 46% of all organic foods sold in the US in 2005. An increasing number of supermarkets, wholesale clubs and distributors are introducing organic private label products, in addition to chains that specialize in organic and natural foods. 

PDF version of Organic Industry Structure: Private Label Brands




Natural food chains including Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Wild Oats sold 23% of organic food in the US in 2005. Whole Foods has more than 80 new stores currently in development.

PDF Version of
Organic Industry Structure: Retail Acquisitions and Mergers



PDF Version of Organic Industry Structure: Whole Foods and Wild Oats Locations



 Distribution, particularly of processed organic foods, is dominated by United Natural Foods and Tree of Life.

PDF Version of
Organic Industry Structure: Distributor Acquisitions and Mergers



In 1982 there were 28 consumer cooperative distributors. Today there is just 1.

PDF Version of Organic Industry Structure: Cooperative Distributors, 1982-2008.



PDF Version of Organic Industry Structure: Major Organic/Natural Foods Distributors, 2008


Network Animation of Organic/Natural Foods Distributors, 1982 - 2008

View QuickTime Animation

produced with SoNIA v1.2.0

See also:
Howard, Philip H. 2009.
Visualising Food System Concentration and Consolidation. Southern Rural Sociology 24(2), 87-110. [PDF]