In a “demanding year” organic food sales in Sweden grew by 2.5 per cent in 2022, the latest Swedish Organic Annual Market Report shows. Sales performance varied widely across channels, with a significant decline in supermarket and grocery sales offset by growth in direct-to-consumer, public sector and restaurant trade. And despite the challenges created by war in Europe and the cost of living crisis, organic’s share of total food sales in Sweden held up at an impressive 8.2% .
• In 2022 organic’s share of the total food market was 8.2%
• Organic food sales totalled SEK 33.6 billion.
• Overall, organic sales grew by 2.5 percent (against 2021 figures)
• In the public sector, private restaurants and yard sales, the value of sales increased in 2022.
• The trend for sales of organic food in Swedish grocery stores continues to decline. The trend was reinforced in 2022 by rising food prices.
• Food sales in the Swedish grocery channel totalled SEK 309 billion in 2022. Of this, 19 billion were organic – meaning organic’s share was 6.1 percent.
• In 2022, the organically farmed area in Sweden decreased by about 18,000 hectares, around 3 percent.
“Despite a demanding year, we see that total organic sales are increasing slightly, which is positive. It is particularly gratifying that direct-to-consumer sales continue to increase, even though it is still a very small part of organic sales, says Ida Lind, expert market and sustainability at Ekologiska Lantbrukarna (Organic Farmers).
The biggest drop in sales occurred in the grocery trade, both in value and in volume. Total food sales in this channel were SEK 309 billion in 2022. Of this, SEK 19 billion were organic, giving organic a share of 6.1 percent (physical stores and e-commerce combined). The negative sales trend for organic food in the retail sector is having an impact on Swedish agriculture, say industry insiders. Forecasts show that the organically farmed agricultural area in 2024 will be 44,000 hectares less than the peak year 2019. This development could lead to Sweden losing its position as one of the countries in the world with the largest share of organic agricultural area.
“Everyone has been so preoccupied with food prices in 2022, so the benefits of organic food have been overshadowed. Now we need to talk even more about the fact that the production of organic food benefits such things as biodiversity and good animal welfare, gives less climate impact and means that there are less residues of non-natural chemical pesticides in our environment, says Emma Rung, CEO of KRAV.
We believe that the negative trend will reverse. It is clear that consumers demand the added value created by the eco-farmer, such as better animal welfare and cultivation without dangerous chemical pesticidesCharlotte Bladh André
However, the organizations behind the report believe that organic sales must be seen from a larger perspective. Looked at over time, the say, Swedish certified organic production is a clear success story.
Charlotte Bladh André, CEO of Organic Sweden, is optimistic about the future. ”We believe that the negative trend will reverse. It is clear that consumers demand the added value created by the eco-farmer, such as better animal welfare and cultivation without dangerous chemical pesticides. Now it is important that the entire chain, from farmer to consumer, works together to increase commitment to organic food, says Charlotte Bladh André, CEO of Organic Sweden. more organic in the future.