Organic foods: Why they’re so expensive, and who owns your favorite brands


Consumer demands for organic foods in the U.S. continue to explode. Sales of organic food and non-food products totaled $39.1 billion in 2014, up 11.3 percent from the previous year—with sales of organic food alone accounting for $35.9 billion, according to the Organic Trade Association.

What many consumers may not know is that Whole Foods is not the only force in organics. As consumer demand has grown, big box retailers and grocery chains have stepped in. Last year, Wal-Mart, the country’s largest grocery store, contracted with Wild Oats Marketplace, an organic food maker—and once owned by Whole Foods– to put more organics on its shelves.

Kroger, the country’s fourth largest retailer, has had its own label of organic products since 2012, called Simple Truth Organic. Meanwhile, Costco offers organic food under its own Kirkland label, with sales of organics doubling in the last two years to nearly $3 billion.Hain…

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