Richer Chinese making dent in established organic markets

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Organic food, Asia-pacific, Supply and demand

Chinese demand has been fuelling growth in the global organic food market, which is predicted to grow to a value of nearly US$190bn by 2021.

Between 2012 and 2016, the segment increased at an annual rate of 10.9%, and should accelerate at 13.8% per year until over the next four years, according to industry researcher MarketLine.

While America will remain the biggest single market, accounting for roughly a third of sales, Asia-Pacific growth—fuelled by China—is expected to grow much more quickly, cutting into America’s market share.

Although the US currently accounts for over 45% of the global market, its share will fall to 34% by 2021 due to growth in the Asia-Pacific region​,” said analyst Christopher Leyman-Nicholls. 

Despite the continued healthy growth of the US market, China’s rapidly expanding consumer society is propelling that of Apac to grow at a much faster pace​.”

Demand for organic food is increasing globally as knowledge surrounding its environmental and health benefits improves, he added.

Growth in America is expected to slow because it is the most mature market globally. Those such as China are expected to undergo rapid expansion, reducing the US’s influence on the global market during the forecast period​.”

Rising wages, higher standards of living and a burgeoning middle class are allowing more people to afford organic food in China.

The Chinese market has also been helped by greater awareness of malpractice in food production, creating a pull factor towards organic food​,” Leyman-Nicholls added.

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