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SPINS reports that sales of Fair Trade Certified products at grocery stores grew by 30 percent this year, to $140 million, led by growth in packaged coffee (44 percent) and ready-to-drink tea and coffees (51 percent).
Other notable double-digit contributors include the refrigerated juices and functional beverages category that was introduced in 2009 (98 percent), carbonated beverages (38 percent), chocolate candy (29 percent) and shelf-stable functional beverages (10 percent). Frozen desserts are up 8 percent and teas are up 4 percent, with cocoa and hot chocolate as the only category to experience a decline, down 8 percent.
In 2009, the BBMG Conscious Consumer Report stated that three-fourths of consumers (77 percent) believe they can make a difference by buying products from socially and environmentally responsible companies, and two-thirds agreed that even in tough economic times it’s important to buy products with social and environmental benefits (4 point scale). And more than half (51 percent) agreed that they are willing to pay more.
Ben & Jerry’s and Green & Black’s kicked off the year by announcing they would convert 100 percent of their products to Fair Trade Certified ingredients. Green Mountain Coffee converted two of its top iconic blends – Our Blend and Vermont Country Blend – to Fair Trade. Certified coffee imports were up 25 percent, and 47 percent of all imports were also organic.
Honest Tea is expanding its Fair Trade Certified offerings to include its entire tea portfolio. Over the past three years, Honest Tea expanded from seven to 19 varieties. With this new initiative, all 27 of its teas will be transitioned to Fair Trade Certified, starting in December. The company expects the transition to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Twinings offers a new line of fully organic and Fair Trade Certified teas. Tea Forte has launched its Fair Trade Certified Minteas – organic, functional tea mints for daily well-being. Choice Organic Teas, the first exclusively organic tea crafter in the United States and the first in the country to introduce Fair Trade Certified teas, has been selected to carry the Jane Goodall “Good For All” brand, featuring the name and image of Dr. Jane Goodall. Whole Foods Markets now has six ready-to-drink, Fair Trade Certified 365 Everyday Value teas.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op has introduced Simply Organic Gluten-free Brownie mix. Glory Bee Foods offers Fair Trade organic honey available in 12-ounce squeeze bears or raw packed in 18-ounce glass jars.
Additionally, Maggie’s Organics has been working with Fair Trade USA to pilot a program that extends the protections and benefits of Fair Trade certification from the farm and into the factory.
In 2009, consumer and industry purchases generated more than $48 million in additional income and funding for education, health care, clean water and other vital social services to support the more than 1.2 million people in Fair Trade farming communities around the world.
SPINS is the first company to offer Natural Products sales data to the industry. Established in 1995, SPINS is now the premier provider of industry reporting and consulting services for this rapidly expanding sector.