Report: U.S. Organic sales grow by 17.1% in 2008

GREENFIELD, Mass. U.S. sales of organic products, both food and non-food, reached $24.6 billion by the end of 2008, growing an impressive 17.1% over 2007 sales despite tough economic times, according to the Organic Trade Association, which made available final results from its 2009 Organic Industry Survey.

While the overall economy has been losing ground, sales of organic products reflect very strong growth during 2008.

"Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products," said Christine Bushway, OTA's Executive Director.

The survey, conducted by Lieberman Research Group on behalf of OTA, measured the growth of U.S. sales of organic foods and beverages as well as such non-food categories as organic fibers, personal care products and pet foods during 2008. Results show organic food sales grew in 2008 by 15.8% to reach $22.9 billion, while organic non-food sales grew by an astounding 39.4% to reach approximately $1.65 billion. As a result, organic food sales now account for approximately 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the United States.

"This marks another milestone for the organic food market," said Bushway.

With tough economic times, consumers have used various strategies in continuing to buy organic products. Because most venues now offer organic products, consumers have the opportunity to shop around. Increased use of coupons, the proliferation of private label brands, and value-positioned products offered by major organic brands all have contributed to increased sales.

The final report of the Organic Trade Association's 2009 Organic Industry Survey is now available: http://www.ota.com/bookstore/2.html.

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