Many of the top organic retailers in America were mainstream organic grocery stores in 2018, and this hasn’t changed over the years. The traditional grocers still make the largest organic profit share over specialty grocers and smaller natural food stores.
This year, organic sales, organic consumer interest, and organic grocery retail offerings all grew. The Organic Trade Association reported that the U.S.’s 2017 organic sales including organic foods and other products totaled $49.4Billion. This was 6.4% more than the previous year.
This is How This List Was Created
It is not clear if mainstream grocery stores have conducted any research on organic sales. Research has shown that organic food is the most popular selling segment of the industry. Organic food is also sold to the majority of mainstream grocers.
This research has led us to gather grocers that sell fair to large quantities of organics, and are growing in profits and sales. Without further research, it is impossible to know who the biggest organic retailers are.
Retail units More Than 11,200 retail units in 55 different banners across 27 countries.
Sales: Walmart reported revenues of $500 billion for the fiscal year 2017.
The number of organic products: Some Walmart stores sold as many as 400 organic items in 2006. Walmart has expanded its organic product offerings over the years. Walmart currently stocks organic food, clothing, as well as other organic products.
The good: People continue to debate Walmart’s organics. Some believe that Walmart’s ability sells organics at a lower price than local grocers or other natural food retailers is a disadvantage. They were accused of misleadingly labeling conventional foods as organic, and of sourcing low-integrity organics directly from factory farms.
The good news: Walmart uses many sustainable practices. This is an advantage, as consumers are increasingly interested in organics and green practices. Walmart also has partnerships with many organic farmers.
Walmart Organics’ greatest advantage is the ability to deliver organic products to more people and in more places. Global Data Retail has estimated that Walmart holds 14.5% of the U.S. grocery retail market as of 2016.
There is a Walmart near every corner so it’s easy to find organics at lower prices. Walmart selling organics helps increase awareness about organics and supports the whole organic industry.
However, integrity is just as important when it comes to organics as availability. The Walmart organic debate will continue.
Retail Units760 Locations in the U.S. and other countries
Sales: Costco Wholesale reported revenues of $141.6 billion for 2017.
The number of organic products at Costco: Although Costco’s organic food offerings have increased in recent years, it is sometimes difficult for them to keep up with the growing organic market.
The bad news:Like many mainstream grocers Costco has been criticized for selling factory-farmed organics. Costco’s organic selections can be a bit inconsistent, especially when it comes to fresh organic produce.
The good news: Costco boasts a strong sales record and a large customer base. Costco’s organic selection opens up the organic market to many new customers. Many Americans love the club-style store concept.
Retail Units –Kroger has over 3,000 locations in 31 states, all under two dozen banners.
Sales The Kroger Co. reported revenue of $122.7 billion for fiscal 2017.
The amount of organic products: Kroger sells its main in-house organic brand, Simple Truth. Kroger also carries organic mainstream products such as Organic Valley. Local organics can be found depending on where you live.
The bad news: Although they carry a lot of organics, not all organics are available at all times. You may not always find organic yogurt or bread in their stock. Kroger was also accused of selling factory-farmed milk.
The good news: Kroger offers a wide range of organic products. They also have decent produce choices. They only sell rBST-free milk. Kroger Manufacturing also has a number of organic processing facilities that are certified by organic certification, which helps to support the organic industry.
Retail Units Target currently operates more than 1,800 stores across the U.S., Canada, and India.
Sales: Target Corp. reported revenues of $71.9 billion for 2017.
Amount Of Organic Products: Target sells a variety of organic products under its private brand Simply Balanced.
The bad news: Target and many others on this page have been accused of selling low-integrity organics that were factory-farmed.
The good news: Target has significantly increased its organic offerings in the past year. They even carry an organic baby and body care products. They offer organics at reasonable prices.
Retail Units There are currently 1300 Safeway stores in the U.S.
Sales: Safeway Inc. reported total revenues of $59.9 Billion for 2017.
The Number of Organic Products: Safeway has organic products in nearly every aisle of its grocery store. They also sell other organic brands.
The bad news: Safeway may be the quietest grocery store on this list. When it comes to organics, they’re not too controversial. However, the retailer was accused of selling factory-farmed organic milk products.
Safeway introduced some questionable offerings that could confuse customers into purchasing organics over natural products.
The good news: Safeway is seeing organic sales growth and O Organics is being considered a more cost-effective option for other organic brands.
Whole Foods Market
Retail Units Nearly 4000 stores in North America, and the United Kingdom.
Revenue: Sales reached $16 billion in 2017.
The number of organic products: There are no clear numbers, but it is possible that Whole Foods Market has more organic products than any other place. Whole Foods Market carries thousands of organic items including private-label organic products.
The bad news: Because Whole Foods is smaller and more expensive than other grocers, its products may not be accessible to all, especially considering the high prices. However, the products have been made available to the masses after Amazon bought them out.
The good news: Whole Foods has many organic perks. You can go into any of their stores at any time and find the organic food you are looking for. Whole Foods has a huge selection of organic foods. Whole Foods also offers a wide variety of certified organic prepared foods in their bakery and deli areas.