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May 042009

From Green Right Now Reports

U.S. sales of organic products, both food and non-food, reached $24.6 billion by the end of 2008, a 17.1 percent over 2007 sales, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) announced today. Organic food sales now account for approximately 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the United States.

The sales results were announced as part of the 2009 Organic Industry Survey, conducted by Lieberman Research Group on behalf of OTA. The survey measured the growth of U.S. sales of organic foods and beverages as well as non-food categories such as organic fibers, personal care products and pet foods during 2008.

Results show organic food sales grew in 2008 by 15.8 percent to reach $22.9 billion, while organic non-food sales grew by 39.4 percent to reach $1.648 billion — even as the overall economy was been losing ground.

“Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products,” Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director, said in a statement. “This marks another milestone for the organic food market.”

With tough economic times, the OTA says consumers have used various strategies in continuing to buy organic products. Because most stores now offer organic products, consumers have the opportunity to shop around, the OTA says. 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.