Still think of organics as a niche market?

Think again.

According to a survey from the Organic Trade Association, Greenfield, Mass., the segment made up more than 11% of all fresh produce sales in 2009.

That’s up from 3% of all fresh produce sales in 2000.

Organics have become big business for the produce industry, and fresh fruits and vegetables are likewise big business for the organics industry: Organic produce accounted for about 38% of all the category’s food sales in 2009.

Organics’ percentage share of consumers’ fresh produce dollar outweighs consumer food spending on produce overall.

Organic food sales also boast a brisker growth rate than conventional foods, posting a better than 5% growth rate over 2008 compared to 1.6% for the food category as a whole.

More proof that organics are as mainstream: More than half of all organic food sales — 54% — occurred in conventional grocery stores and club stores in 2009, surpassing natural food retailers at 38%.

Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.