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Non-GMO verified sales up 21% in natural foods channel

By Elaine WATSON , 12-Sep-2012

Sales of non-GMO Project Verified products in the US natural channel surged by 21% in the 12 weeks to August 4, according to new data from SPINS.

According to findings unveiled at Organic Monitor’s Sustainable Foods Summit in San Francisco in July, Non-GMO Project Verified is the fastest growing food eco-label in North America, with sales of certified products hitting $1bn in 2011 [and likely to be far higher as SPINS data excludes Walmart and Whole Foods].

While USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) identifies genetic modification as an excluded method, USDA certified organic products are not tested for GMOs, notes the non-GMO Project on its website.

By contrast, the Non-GMO Project Verification program tests products for GMO content at points along the production chain considered to be high-risk for GMO contact.   

Natural channel showing consistent double-digit sales growth

SPINS, which collects data from more than 900 natural retail stores in the US ranging from small independents to national chains, has consistently reported double-digit dollar growth within the natural retail channel every four-week period throughout 2012.

“Growth rates in the natural channel have hovered around 15% during the most recent twelve week period [ending 8/4/12 versus the same period in 2011] and are showing no signs of slow down.”

Over the same 12-week period, Fair Trade USA certified sales rose 19% and gluten-free product sales rose 22%.

The food segment leads within natural with gains of 17% versus prior year, followed by body care up 13% and herbs, vitamins and supplements (up 12%).

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.  

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