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BALTIMORE -- Retail data from market research firm SPINS showed that hemp product sales are continuing to increasing at natural food retailers, even excluding Whole Foods Market and mass market food and pharmacy stores.
Since the SPINS data doesn't include Whole Foods and mass market food stores and pharmacies, it underrepresents actual sales by a factor of two to three, according to the Hemp Industries Association (HIA).
Hemp food sales grew in the sampled stores by 39 percent over last year (from August 2006 to August 2007), or by $2.1 million, to $7.7 million. Based on the representative growth of this sample, HIA's food and oil committee estimated that the total retail value of hemp foods sold over the past 12 months in North America grew from $14 million in 2006 to about $20 million in 2007.
Additionally, the SPINS data found that sales of hemp body care products went up 11 percent over the past 12 months in the sampled stores, to $12 million. Because of the extensive hemp body care line sold by The Body Shop, along with the fact that many unreported leading mass-market brands of suntan lotion and sunscreen feature hemp oil, the HIA estimates the total retail value of North American hemp body care sales to be at least $50 million.
The HIA represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages research into and development of new hemp products.