Selling USDA Organic Certified Products On Amazon

USDA Organic certified products have been in demand for several years and judging by the consistent growth over the last decade the and rising customer concern over quality, demand for them will continue to increase. 

With the rise of Amazon in the past decade and their expansion into categories relevant to organic certifications such as grocery, brands with certified organic products are showing up on the marketplace more and more. With competition rising, knowing how to communicate your organic certification on Amazon can prove to be an important USP to help stand out from the sea of competitors and attract the right customers. 

This article will provide you with all you need to know about how to use your organic certification on Amazon most effectively.

USDA Organic Certified – A Growing Trend

The market for certified organic products is on a steady growth curve. Sales in the U.S. have been increasing from 15 billion USD to 50 billion USD over the past 15 years which equals an increase of over 300% (see graphic below)!

organic food sales us 2005 to 2019

Product categories most relevant for organic certifications are currently fruits & veggies, dairy & eggs and beverages, giving brands with these types of products an especially big advantage. There is a clear trend of demand for organic products expanding into new categories like beauty, health & wellness or pet supplies, creating even more potential for certified organic products to meet that demand. 

With younger generations being most interested in buying higher quality products the trend is likely to keep growing. Millennials and ‘Gen X’ are more interested in buying organic products than older generations and are also more willing to pay the necessary price premiums

Since these age groups are most comfortable with using big Ecommerce platforms like Amazon instead of offline shopping channels there is a big opportunity for brands with certified organic products on Amazon’s marketplace. 

For the US market the USDA is the main certifying institution for organic products. In order to use the claim of a product being “organic” or to use the USDA organic seal, a product needs to contain at least 95% organic ingredients from USDA-approved sources.

usda organic seal

How Do I Set Up My USDA Organic Certification on Amazon?

In order to use the organic seal on Amazon and include organic claims in your product title & description you have to make sure to provide the necessary certification documents to Amazon. 

To ensure that no products falsely claimed as organic are sold Amazon requires sellers to submit their organic certifications. This is best done before you set up your products to avoid them getting rejected. 

Based on our experience there is currently no process for submitting proof for organic certifications. While Amazon does not give explicit details on how to register your USDA certification please be prepared to supply your proof of organic certification, likely via Seller Support.

Since 2019 Amazon has started turning off and restricting listings that claim to be organic without the necessary documents. It might take more than one week to correct the issue so to avoid losing important sales ensure to make submitting your USDA organic certificate a priority.

How to Communicate Your USDA Organic Certification on Amazon

Once you have set up your organic certifications with Amazon it’s time to think about how to effectively communicate your products’ organic quality.  

The importance of effectively communicating an organic certification cannot be understated. It will: 

  • Attract users looking for organic products. 
  • Make you stand out from competitors’ products that are not certified organic. 
  • Justify price premiums. 
  • Show off your brand’s values. 

Amazon provides various options for brands to highlight their prioritized messages. Here comes the ultimate breakdown:

Title 

The product title is the first information users see when they search for products. It is very important for matching search queries and often determines if a user decides to click on a certain product or not. If your product is USDA organic it is important to include that information in the title, preferably in the front so it is visible on all devices. Remember that fewer characters will appear in product titles on mobile.

usda organic title

Bullet Points

The bullet points on the product detail page are providing the user with more detailed information about your product and therefore often make or break a purchase decision. If your product is USDA certified organic, one of the bullets should include that information.

terrasoul usda organic label bullet points

Ingredients 

To confirm your organic certification and to use one more space to talk about it, you should include the term “organic” in the list of ingredients as well. It is also a great place to specify the percentage of organic ingredients.

organic search term in ingredients

Product Images 

We live in a highly visual world. Providing the most essential facts about your product via product pictures has become more important since some users might pay more attention to them than to the bullet points and product description.

An easy way to communicate your organic certification is by including a picture of the USDA seal, preferably as big as possible.

cliganic usda organic label product picture
usda organic label product pictures

A+ Content

A+ content on the product detail page is the best way to inform users about your products and brand’s values in a more detailed way. It is a great place to communicate which certifications your products have. Check out some examples of how brands are using A+ content on Amazon.

a+ content usda organic label

Storefront 

The Storefront showcases what your brand is all about. If selling organic products is an important part of your brand’s identity it should be included in there. Here are some of our favorite branded stores on Amazon.

hippea storefront usda organic label

Filters 

Filters are very helpful for users to narrow down products especially in categories with an overwhelming amount of choice. Including the organic information in the backend will ensure your product shows up once a user decides to filter for organic products.

usda organic filter

Best Practices from a Brand Selling Organic Products on Amazon 

Terrasoul is a leading importer, distributor and packager of nutrient-dense, organic superfoods, including products like nuts, seeds and dried fruit. The company exclusively sells certified organic products and places high emphasis on the superior quality of their products.  

They will serve as our best practice of how to effectively communicate a USDA Organic certification. They’re a perfect example of effective use of green marketing too.

Let’s look at how they are checking off our ‘How to communicate organic’ list. 

Title 

  • Including ‘Organic’ in the front of the title
terrasoul organic title

Product Pictures and Bullet Points 

  • Including a picture of the USDA Organic seal in the product pictures 
  • Communicating the organic certification in the bullet points 
terrasoul usda organic label bullet points

A+ content 

  • Prominent space for the organic seal and explanation 
  • Including a table listing off different certifications and properties among all products 
a+ content usda organic label terrasoul

Storefront 

  • Including information on certifications in the text and showcasing the obtained certification badges prominently 
storefront using usda organic label

Can I Use My USDA Organic Certification for the EU Market?

If you have gone through the lengthy and costly process of having your products certified by the USDA you might wonder if you could use that certification for other markets. A transferrable organic certification could prove to be highly beneficial in case you decide to expand to a different market. 

While every market has its own regulations and certifications at least in the case of US-EU relationships there is a handy agreement that makes things a little bit easier. 

The U.S. – European Union Organic Equivalency Arrangement 

Under the Arrangement, the EU accepts the USDA organic certification as equivalent to the EU organic program and therefore allows US organic products to be marketed as “organic” in the EU.  

That includes using the EU organic logo. 

There are two specific conditions that have to be considered: 

1) Tetracycline and streptomycin (both antibiotics) were not used to control fire blight in apples and pears. 

2) An import certificate is issued by an NOP accredited certifying agent attesting to compliance with the terms of the arrangement. 

Further, the arrangement is limited to products of U.S. origin, meaning that are either produced within the U.S. or the final processing / packaging step took place in the U.S. 

For most up to date information on the state of the Equivalency Agreement please visit: 

https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/US_EUQAs.pdf

Takeaways

The demand for organic products continues to rise. A USDA Organic certification is a great way for you to prove the higher quality of your products and help them stand out. Communicating this effectively on Amazon is key. 

In this article we have explored how you can make the most out of your USDA Organic certification on Amazon, in particular: 

  • What the outlook for the organic market looks like. 
  • How to set up your USDA Organic certification in Amazon’s backend. 
  • The different ways for you to clearly communicate the organic quality of your product on Amazon. 
  • Whether you can use your USDA Organic certification for the European market. 

If you want to make sure to set up your certified organic products in the most effective way on Amazon feel free to reach out to us, we already work with a range of clients selling organic products. We’re happy to assist. 

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