World leading organic nation

The Danish consumers are the most pro-organic consumers in the world. In fact, Denmark has the world's highest organic share and the most well-developed organic market.

Organic sales in Denmark continue to set a record. For instance, from 2016 to 2017 the organic food sale increased with 31 %. Moreover, more than half of the Danes – more specifically 51.4 percent – buy organic food every single week. The unique and governmentally certified Ø-label has been very important for the widespread success that organic food products have achieved in Denmark.

The table below illustrates the development of the Danish, organic market share from 2005 till 2017. One of the explanations for the huge increase from 2016 to 2017 is that the online sale of organic products - as something new - is now included in the figure of the total grocery shopping. However, even without the online figures, there has been a considerable increase.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2018
NB. For the first time, Statistic Denmark has included the figures from online shopping in the figures of the total grocery sales in 2017.

The highest organic market share in the world

Today, Denmark is the country in the world where the sales of organic products make up for the largest part of the overall sales – 13.3% in 2017 numbers.

The table below illustrates Denmark's leading position among other European countries.

Source: 2017 estimate by Organic Denmark based on figures by FiBL 2016

The organic sale in Denmark

The 10 most popular, organic products of Danish consumers anno 2017 are:

  1. Oatmeal (52.3%)
  2. Carrots (42.3%)
  3. Eggs (32.6%)
  4. Milk (31.6%)
  5. Bananas (30.6%)
  6. Flour (30.1%)
  7. Cooking/ salad oil (29.3%)
  8. Pasta (27.0%)
  9. Vegetables (20.4%)
  10. Fruit (18.6%)

Source: GfK ConsumerScan

The table below shows the value shares of the total, organic turnover per category in 2017.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2018

Another development that underlines the Danes’ dedication to organic products is that many products have now achieved a very high organic market share. Especially, the sale of organic fruit and vegetables have increased remarkably, and this product category now makes up 33% of the total organic turnover. However, other categories like eggs, pasta and flour are also well on their way up. 

Sales channels of Danish, organic food

The Danish retail sector including the booming online sale make up for the largest part of the total organic sales. In total, Danes buy organic products for 14.4 billion DKK which is divided between the different sales channels as illustrated below.

Sales channels 2017
Grocery sector incl. online sales 11.3 billion DKK
Mini Markets and misc. 0.4 billion DKK
Health food stores 0.2 billion DKK
Foodservice 0.2 billion DKK

Source: GfK ConsumerScan 2017

The Export of Danish organic food by country

Danish organics are not only for Danes. In fact, the export of Danish organics is booming and in 2016 Denmark exported €322 million. Our biggest export markets are in our neighbouring countries. Germany is still the largest export market for Danish organic companies followed by Sweden. At the same time, the export to China is also increasing and is now the third-largest export country. See the figure below (2016).

Source: Statistics Denmark 2017

Export of Danish organic food by category

The most popular, exported, organic product category is dairy, including eggs, with a total export rate of 37%. In general, most organic product categories have experienced an increase in export.

The figure below indicates the export of Danish organic products per category in 2016.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2016
*Vegetable and animal Oils, other foodstuff, sugar, etc.

Danish Oganic Export is booming

In recent years, Danish organic export has experienced a huge increase and in just one year the export of Danish organics has increased with 23 %. The positive development is expected to continue in the future and Organic Denmark estimates that the Danish organic export will increase minimum at a level of + 15% year on year (as illustrated in the figure below).

Source: Statistics Denmark 2017 and estimates from Organic Denmark