Organic equals healthy, right? According to a Stanford study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, maybe not. [1]

First, many people do not really know what organic means. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are three levels of organic certifications:

  • 100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients
  • Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients
  • Made With Organic: Made with at least 70% organic ingredients


Additionally, product ingredient lists may have specific organic ingredients, such as “organic basil” on a jar of tomato sauce, while the product in totality does not meet the minimum 70% organic threshold required to label it as “Made With Organic Basil” because the basil makes up less than 70% of the tomato sauce’s total composition. [2]


Second, “organic” means more than just “grown without pesticides.” It actually has to do with the entire chain of production from growing to harvesting to shipping and includes requirements about farmland usage, fertilizers, pest control, processing, and packaging. [3] It can also be prohibitively expensive for small farms to get and maintain organic certifications even if their process already is entirely organic. [4] As a result, many products from small farms without organic certifications may, in fact, be organic.


Third, organic products are not guaranteed to have better nutritional value than their non-organic counterparts. Generally, they have lower levels of pesticides, but most non-organic foods that are grown with pesticides still test lower than government-allowed safety limits.


Despite all of those caveats, the global organic food and drink market is booming. Allied Market Research projects a CAGR of 16.4% from 2014-2022, and the sheer volume of organic products hitting the shelves is hard to ignore. [5]


However, there are concerns that organic product manufacturers face. Organic products cost more to grow, which results in higher costs that are passed onto the consumer. Plus, without preservatives and chemical additives, many organic products have decreased shelf lives compared to similar non-organic options.


Though the organic market is growing across the board, even in industries such as clothing and fashion, which are unrelated to food, there are a few organic food and drink products seeing more demand.

Fruits and Vegetables

Organic fruits and vegetables make up 36% of the total organic food and drink market [6]. Among all types of fresh produce, One Green Planet recommends consumers look for organic apples, peaches, strawberries, celery, spinach, cucumbers, potatoes, and bell peppers as these crops are among the most heavily sprayed with pesticides. [7]

Meat and Poultry

Demand for organic meat and poultry is expected to grow 10.1% annually by 2026 with North America expected to be one of the fastest-growing markets. [8]


An estimated 64% of Americans drink coffee every day, leading to a CAGR of 10.62% by 2027. [9, 10]. However, the United States is not a major coffee producer and has to import virtually all of their coffee from Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia. Demand for organic coffee has pushed American companies to invest in sustainable farming practices in developing countries, and more countries are looking to make coffee a major export than ever before.

Energy Drinks

The sports nutrition market has exploded with a CAGR of 7.9% and most of that growth is happening in convenience stores where busy consumers are looking for on-the-go energy drink options made with organic sources of caffeine. [11, 12]

Protein Powder

The global natural protein powder market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 8.1% through 2023 with rapid product launches driving that growth. [13] Technavio describes the protein powder market as “moderately fragmented with several players who occupy the market share” meaning now is the perfect time for prospective organic supplement companies to unleash their new and exciting products on consumers. [14]