Sales of organic garlic are on the rise.
Organically grown product now accounts for more than 8% of retail garlic sales, according to The Packer’s Organic Produce Market Guide 2020.
In 2019, volume increased 12.1% over the previous year, and sales rose 13.7%.
Bruce Klein, director of marketing for Maurice A. Auerbach Inc., Secaucus, N.J., said he has noticed an upward trend in sales of organic garlic for the past 10 years.
The company sources organically grown garlic from California, Mexico and Spain.
Demand is up this year in particular as consumers choose organic items over conventional because they feel it’s safer, he said.
And they’re looking for packaged garlic.
“Rather than picking through bulbs in bins, they’ll pick a packaged item,” he said.
Gilroy, Calif.-based Christopher Ranch grows conventional and organic garlic, said Ken Christopher, executive vice president.
“Every year we’re expanding our organic program as a percentage of our total sales,” he said.
“Ten years ago, organics might have been 5% of our business, today it’s closer to about 12%.”
The company is finding that consumers are gravitating toward a higher-end, premium organic product, he said.
Orlando, Fla.-based Happy Veg Inc. sells organic garlic loose, in net bags and minced in a tube, said Louis Hymel, partner and COO.
“Organic is very popular,” he said.
“People believe they’re eating a little healthier when they have organic items,” he added. “It’s a growing segment within the food industry for sure.”
Bakersfield, Calif.-based The Garlic Co. has had an organic program for 15 or 20 years, said Joe Lane, an owner of the company.
The Garlic Co. produces mostly peeled garlic for processors and foodservice operators.
Demand has been increasing a bit each year, he said.
Buyers want peeled product that is further processed as an ingredient in various food items, Lane said.