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.