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    NMI Study: '04 Health/Wellness Sales Hit $68 B

    HARLEYSVILLE, Pa. -- Retail sales within the consumer packaged goods health and wellness industry reached $68 billion in 2004, according to findings from the Natural Marketing Institute's annual research study of 2,000-plus U.S. consumer households.

    HARLEYSVILLE, Pa. -- Retail sales within the consumer packaged goods health and wellness industry reached $68 billion in 2004, according to findings from the Natural Marketing Institute's annual research study of 2,000-plus U.S. consumer households.

    The latest data from NMI, which will be published in March 2005 in NMI's 2005 "Health and Wellness Trends Report," constitute a total growth of 8.5 percent over 2003.

    NMI managing partner Steve French said: "Despite recent economic challenges, consumer spending last year in the health and wellness industry continued to rise. We project this trend to continue, with sales reaching more than $73 billion in 2005."

    NMI says its outlook was corroborated by the Consumer Confidence Board, which reported an increase for 2004's economic expansion and job growth while projecting an even more favorable outlook for 2005.

    The industry's top category sales continue to be among functional and fortified foods/beverages, which at $23.4 billion, represent 34 percent of the total industry. The biggest percentage of growth vs. 2003 however, is in organic foods/beverages (+18 percent).

    The NMI report contains over 200 pages of data and analysis of consumer attitudes, behaviors, product usage, lifestyles, and demographics surrounding the health and wellness arena. Specific category focus includes natural, organic, functional, fortified foods and beverages; weight-loss products; natural/organic personal care; sports nutrition; dietary supplements; health-related ingredients; Rx vs. OTC vs. foods and supplements in treatment; and expanded analysis of the top trends of 2005.

    According to NMI president Maryellen Molyneaux: "The 2004 data represent a 7.6 percent overall compound annual growth since 2001. In addition, the positive and negative changes in consumer attitudes and behavior present both opportunities and challenges to marketers who want to stay on the cutting edge of developing trends."

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