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The organic food industry in Europe is a lucrative market, with a retail sales value of 29.8 billion euros in 2015. While the well-established Western European market experienced growth of 5.4 percent between 2015 and 2016, Eastern European sales are catching up with a growth rate of 8.8 percent in the same period. Germany is the leading market for organic products in Europe with a 11.4 percent share of global organic sales, followed by France with 7.3 percent.
Even though sales are booming, the state of organic production is yet to catch up with demand: organic farmland as a proportion of all farmland area rarely exceeds 15 percent in the majority of countries. Similarly, organic meat production is only a miniscule share of overall livestock, particularly in the case of pork at only 0.6 percent. Nevertheless, arable organic crop production in Europe is centered around cereals, while permanent crops are predominantly made up of olives and grapes. Although Germany has the largest market for organic food, the highest levels of per capita consumption can be found in Switzerland and the Nordic countries. European consumers have high levels of awareness for organic claims at 61 percent, with a further 11 percent actively seeking such products. Furthermore, increasing numbers are buying more organic food and drink products, with a relatively equal proportion willing to pay a premium for an organic claim. Avenues for purchase tend to be general retailers or specialized organic retailers, while the appeal of various products differs between countries: the United Kingdom has the largest market for organic fish, for instance, whereas organic confectionery launches are concentrated in Germany.
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Sales revenue of organic food and drink in the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2015 (in million GBP)
Average expenditure per person per week on food and drink consumed outside the home in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2006 to 2015 (in pence)
Distribution of the organic and regular food and drink sales in Belgium 2016, by product type
Where do you buy your healthy food and drink products?
Frequency of purchasing food and drink with added health benefits in selected countries in Europe in 2015
Share of consumers that are buying more organic food and drink products in selected countries in Europe in 2015
Share of consumers willing to pay a premium for an organic claim on food and drink products in selected countries in Europe in 2015
Which of the following aspects of healthy eating are the greatest concern for you when choosing which food and drink to buy?*
U.S. adults' attitudes toward organic food in their diet in 2014, by annual household income
Per capita sales of organic food in selected European countries 2010-2015
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Organic products: retail sales value in selected countries in Europe in 2015
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Organic agricultural land area in Europe from 1994 to 2015
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Organic producer numbers in the European Union (EU-28) in 2015, by country
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Organic retail sales share in the European Union (EU-28) in 2015, by country
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Distribution of organic farmland across Europe in 2015, by country
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Organic processor numbers in the European Union (EU-28) in 2015, by country
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Organic importer numbers in the European Union (EU-28) in 2015, by country
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Number of organic processors involved in bakery and farinaceous products Europe 2015
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Leading companies of new organic packaged goods launched Germany 2011-2015
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Switching potential of dairy and bread products for a claim Europe 2016
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