Facts & figures about Danish organics

Facts & figures about Danish organics

May 2020 by: Louise Kaad-Hansen

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 2018 to 2019 the organic food sale increased with 9,4 %. Moreover, more than half of the Danes – more specifically 52.5 percent – buy organic food every single week indicating that organic is for everyone. 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 2019.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2019. Please pay attention to that Statistics Denmark has changed their basis of calculation from 2017 and onwards. Furthermore, online sales figures have also been included from 2017 and onwards.

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. 11.5 percent of the Danes' grocery shopping is organic and this is the largest share compared to any other country in the world. Switzerland comes in second followed by Sweden on a third place.

Source: FiBL 2019

The organic sale in Denmark

The 10 most popular, organic products of Danish consumers anno 2019 are:

  1. Natural Yoghurt (48.6%)
  2. Carrots (45.2%)
  3. Oatmeal (43.1%)
  4. Bananas (36.5%)
  5. Cooking oil (34.3%)
  6. Milk (32.3%)
  7. Oranges (29.9%)
  8. Eggs (29.6%)
  9. Pasta (29.0%)
  10. Flour (29.0%)

Source: GfK ConsumerScan

The table below shows the value shares of the total, organic turnover per category in 2019.

Fruit and vegetables make up one third of the organic sales in the retail sector and thereby constitutues the largest organic product category. This is followed by dairy, that makes up one fifth of the organic sales. In general, most product categories have achieved a high organic market share.  

Source: Statistics Denmark 2019

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 16 billion DKK which is divided between the different sales channels as illustrated below.

Sales channels
Grocery sector incl. online sales
14.1 billion DKK
2.7 billion DKK
Mini Markets and misc.
0.7 billion DKK

Source: GfK ConsumerScan 2019 and Statistics Denmark

The Export of Danish organic food by country

Danish organics are not only for Danes. In 2018, the exports of Danish organic products amounted to DKK 2,9 billion. Our biggest export markets are in our neighbouring countries. And according to Statistics Denmark, Germany is still the largest export market for Danish organic companies and represents 42% of total exports. This is followed by Sweden (15%), France (7%), The Netherlands (7%) and China (6%) .

Organic dairy products constitute by far the largest export segment

The most popular, exported, organic product category is dairy, including eggs, with a total export rate of 42%. 

The figure below indicates the export of Danish organic products per category in 2018.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2018
Misc.* Vegetable and animal Oils, other foodstuff, etc.

The Development of Danish Organic Export 

For the past +10 years, the export of Danish organic food products has experienced a great growth, however in 2018 the Danish organic export experienced a minor fall (see the below figure).  The decline is mainly due to lower milk and cream exports, but in return this is compensated by an increase in the domestic sales.

A high standard of food safety and quality, Denmark’s unique control system as well as the Danish companies’ ability to innovation are the main reasons why the export of organic food is popular abroad.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2018