Facts & figures about Danish organics

Facts & figures about Danish organics

May 2021 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. In 2020 the organic food sale increased with 14 %. Moreover, today three out of four Danes 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.

Development in the Danish organic market share 2006 till 2020

In 2020, 12.8% of Danes’ food purchases were organic products, which is the highest organic market share compared with any other country in the world.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2021. Please pay attention to that Statistics Denmark has changed their basis of calculation from 2017 and onwards. Furthermore, online commerce has also been included in the figures from 2017 and onwards.

Denmark secures a new world record

Global sales of organic food have never been greater. 2019 saw sales of EUR 106 billion—and once again Denmark is leading the way. Not only is Denmark the country in the world where the sales of organic products make up for the largest part of the overall sales, moreover the Danes are now also the sole leader in per capita organic food sales. 

Every Dane spent an average of EUR 344 on organic food in 2019, this puts Denmark in the lead ahead of Switzerland. Furthermore, 12.1 percent of the Danes' grocery shopping is organic and this is also the largest share compared to any other country in the world. Switzerland comes in second followed by Austria on a third place. This gives Denmark a double world record.

Source: FiBL 2021

The organic sale in Denmark

The 10 most popular, organic products of Danish consumers anno 2020 are:

  1. Bananas (66.5%)
  2. Plantbased dairy (64.9%)
  3. Carrots (47.6%)
  4. Oatmeal (47.2%)
  5. Natural Yoghurt (47.0%)
  6. Root crop (45.4%)
  7. Cabbage (36.2%)
  8. Milk (34.3%)
  9. Flour (33.7%)
  10. Eggs (31.2%)

Source: GfK ConsumerScan

The table below shows the value shares of the total, organic turnover per category in 2020.

Sales of organic products by product groups

Fruit and vegetables make up more than 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 2021

Sales channels of Danish, organic food

Sales of organics is growing at record speed. In 2020, total organic sales in Denmark amounted to as much as DKK 18.3 billion DKK.

The Danish retail sector including the booming online sale make up for the largest part of the total organic sales comprising 16 billion DKK. Contrary, 2020 has been a tough year for the Danish foodservice sector, as covid-19 has put an end to the otherwise significant organic growth since 2010. Based on the prolonged closures of large parts of the foodservice industry during the lockdown, Organic Denmark therefore estimates a drastic decrease in the turnover of organic products in foodservice in 2020.

Source: GfK ConsumerScan 2021, Statistics Denmark 2021 as well as Organic Denmark's estimate for the foodservice sector in 2020

The Export of Danish organic food by country

Danish organics are not only for Danes. In 2019, the exports of Danish organic products amounted to DKK 3 billion. Our biggest export markets are in our neighbouring countries where Germany is the largest export market for Danish organic companies representing 40% of total exports. This is followed by Sweden (13%), The Netherlands (8%), China (7%) and France (6%), .

Source: Statistics Denmark 2020

Organic exports by categories 

Organic dairy including eggs constitue by far the largets export category with a total export rate of 39%. 

The figure below indicates the export of Danish organic products per category in 2019.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2020
Misc.* Vegetable and animal Oils, fodder, etc.

The Development of Danish Organic Export 

For the past +10 years, the export of Danish organic food products has experienced a great growth. In 2019, the export of Danish organics has set a new record and has now exceeded DKK 3 billion. Organic Denmark expects the growth to continue.

A high standard of food safety and food quality, Denmark’s unique control system from farm to table as well as the Danish companies’ ability to innovate are the main reasons why Danish organics is popular abroad

Source: Statistics Denmark 2020

Want to know more?

In Organic Denmark's organic market report 2021, you can get a comprehensive overview of the market situation for all sales channels in 2020. Here you can be updated on the market development for organic foods in the Danish retail trade and foodservice sector.

The report is available for download here.