More and more chefs in Danish canteens, restaurants and catering companies cook with organic produce.
Last year alone, sales of organic food reached 1.6 billion kroner, which was 27 percent more than in 2014, according to new figures from Statistics Denmark.
Organic produce accounted for 7.6 percent of all the food purchased by restaurant/catering services in 2015.
“We had expected an increase, but sales going up by 27 percent came as a pleasant surprise,” said Andreas Buchhave Jensen, the chief consultant at the Danish agriculture and food council, Landbrug & Fødevarer.
“It is more than we expected, but it also makes sense because many municipalities are converting to organic food and demand in private kitchens continues to grow.”
Organic milk and other dairy products were by far the most popular, making up 36 percent of organic food sales in the restaurant/catering sector, while sales of organic fruit and vegetables increased by 38 percent to 356 million kroner and sales of general wholefoods grew from 436 to 557 million kroner.
“It is very positive to see that sales of all organic food products increased, which indicates that chefs want to prepare meals with as many organic ingredients as possible and not just replace conventional cucumbers with organic ones,” Jensen noted.
Private catering sector leads
Although many Danish municipalities have started the process of converting public canteens to organic, the private food sector accounted for 56 percent of the organic food purchases.
In 2015, private canteens spent 458 million kroner on organic food compared to 324 million in 2014.
Jensen estimates that organic food sales in the catering sector will increase by 15-20 percent this year because many Danes prefer to eat organic when they go out.
The total sale of organic products in Denmark reached 9.6 billion kroner in 2015, which means that on average every Dane spent about 1,700 kroner on organic food.