The potential for organics in New Zealand is being viewed as huge because of dairy farmer competence and excellent growing and market conditions.
Certified organic grocery sales through supermarkets and specialty stores have increased by 127% since 2012, according to the 2016 New Zealand Organic Market Report.
This follows a global trend and is set to continue says Brendan Hoare, chief executive of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ), the peak sector body that commissioned the report.
"Two out of three Kiwis are now regularly buying organics. They have become part of our everyday shopping, just as they are around the world," says Hoare.
"Gen Y in particular are really pushing this and our findings show that they're willing to pay more for healthy, socially-responsible products."
Major retailers have responded to the increase in demand by either expanding their organic product range or creating their own organic brands.
However, the boom has created supply issues in some areas and Hoare says supermarkets and specialty organic retailers are increasingly looking beyond New Zealand for organic products.
"We've had reports of distributors importing fresh and frozen produce," he says.
"We know there are gaps in the supply chain and OANZ is working with peak sector bodies to address the shortages," says Hoare. "With 11% total growth per annum since 2012, the organic sector offers enormous opportunity for New Zealand to grow our economy, both domestically and in exports."
The OANZ 2016 New Zealand Organic Market Report will be formally launched at Parliament on Thursday, April 7. It includes new consumer research conducted as part of the sector's biennial review.