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Sales of natural and organic food are booming for specialty retailers, says SPINS

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 28-Aug-2012

Sales of natural and organic food boom for specialty retailers, SPINS

Natural retailers have seen double-digit sales growth in every four-week period during 2012 as consumers continue to demand natural and organic foods, according to specialist market research organization SPINS.

SPINS, a market research and consulting firm for the natural, organic, and specialty products industry, said that “the post-recession strength of natural product retailers has never been more evident”, and predicts the trend to continue.

Non-GMO, organic certified foods

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been making headlines in recent weeks , as debate ramps up ahead of a California vote on whether labeling should be mandatory for food products with GM ingredients. And natural product retailers have been among the biggest beneficiaries of consumer concerns.

Sales of products carrying the Non-GMO Project Verified seal have seen 21% growth in natural supermarkets over the past 12 weeks, and sales of certified organic foods in the natural channel have also grown 17% during the period.

“Our natural retail partners have done an extraordinary job of adapting to the needs of their shoppers and building loyal relationships with their core consumers while remaining committed to the values and guiding principles of the natural and organic industry’,” said SPINS CEO Tony Olson. “We are excited to see such significant growth as a result and are confident that the trend will continue.”

According to the US Department of Agriculture, 94% of all soy, over 90% of sugar beet and canola, and 88% of corn in the United States is now grown using GM seeds. For processed foods, the Grocery Manufacturers Association has estimated that more than 75% of foods on the market contain GMOs.

Other major trends in the sector include an increase in products carrying Fair Trade USA certification, which were up 19% in the past 12 weeks compared to the prior year period, while sales of products labeled gluten-free grew 22%. Overall food sales in natural supermarkets were up 17% in the quarter, according to SPINS data.

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