Natural product industry sales grew 12.2% to $13.4 billion in the mass-market for the 52-week period ending October 4, 2008, according to the SPINS release.
Organic growth leads the way, up 13% from the previous year. Perhaps more promising was the fact that organic growth was up 7% in the last 12 weeks, indicating that consumers are still buying organic products despite the economic downturn. While manufacturers and retailers have taken notice of the slower growth rates, the outlook still remains positive.
SPINS CEO Tony Olson commented on the factors leading to the success of natural products in conventional mass-market outlets, “Authenticity of natural brands and retailers continue to be one of the key factors in product performance. Authenticity extends beyond whether a product is free of artificial flavors and ingredients and moves into the realm of overall health and wellness, social and environmental sustainability, nutritional benefits and other leading factors. A brand or retailer’s ability to resonate with a consumer on this level is a strong indicator of success in the conventional food, drug, mass channels.”
NBJ has forecasted 12.6% growth for all U.S. natural and organic food sales in 2008, with organic slightly outpacing natural at 14.4% growth. That is down from calendar year 2007, in which natural and organic food sales grew 15.7%. Mass-market retail sales of natural and organic foods grew 16.5% in 2007, according to NBJ research.
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