Facts & figures about Danish organics

Facts & figures about Danish organics

16 March 2019 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 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.

The organic sale in Denmark

The 10 most popular, organic products of Danish consumers anno 2018 are:

  1. Carrots (47.6%)
  2. Oatmeal (42.6%)
  3. Natural yoghurt (40.2%)
  4. Cooking/ salad oil (34%)
  5. Milk (32.5%)
  6. Bananas (32.5%)
  7. Flour (31.4%)
  8. Eggs (31.1%)
  9. Baby food and infant formula (30.2%)
  10. Oranges (29.5%)

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
Grocery sector incl. online sales
11.3 billion DKK
Mini Markets and misc.
0.4 billion DKK
Health food stores
0.2 billion DKK
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, foreign demand for organic products from Denmark is at an all-time high, and exports of Danish organic products amounted to DKK 2,951 million in 2017. Our biggest export markets are in our neighbouring countries. And according to Statistics Denmark, Germany is still the largest export market for Danish organic enterprises and represents 42% of total exports. This is followed by Sweden (16%), China (10%) and France (7%).

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%. 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 2017.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2017
*Vegetable and animal Oils, other foodstuff, etc.

Danish Organic Export Reach New Heights

As a result of the growing appetite for Danish organic products abroad, Danish organic exports are setting a new record. Figures published by Statistics Denmark show that exports of Danish organic products amounted to DKK 2,951 million in 2017. This is an increase of 21% in one year. It means that Danish organic exports have nearly doubled in four years. See the below figure.

Source: Statistics Denmark 2017