Which Grocery Store Chain Sells the Most Organic Food? Surprisingly, Not Whole Foods

Staff Writer
Costco has become the largest organic grocer in America, surpassing Whole Foods with $4 billion in organic grocery sales

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Think your neighborhood Whole Foods sells more locally sourced, organic produce than any other chain? Think again.

As the organic grocery business continues to boom, one supermarket chain has quickly moved up the produce ladder to become the largest organic grocer in America. We’ll give you a hint: It’s not Whole Foods. Costco actually leads the way with $4 billion in annual organic grocery sales, climbing an impressive 33 percent in sales from last year’s $3 billion in sales, according to The Seattle Times. Whole Foods came in second with $3.6 billion in organic grocery sales this year; the popular chain is the previously undisputed industry leader.

Percentage-wise, that still means that the bulk of Costco’s sales are not organic. The large grocery chain, which has more than 400 locations nationwide, makes about $114 billion in revenue annually. For every $100 spent at Costco, in other words, $3.50 goes toward organic grocery sales. It also indicates that Costco’s organic grocery sales constitute a large percentage of the organic food business. The Organic Trade Organization estimates that annual sales next year will reach $36 billion nationwide. One-ninth of organic grocery sales will come from Costco.

According to industry experts, this suggests that organic food, which was once a niche market in farmers markets and specialty stores, has become mainstream.

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