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NEW YORK - The market for organic foods and beverages is expected to generate sales of $32.3 billion by 2009, according to The U.S. Market for Organic Foods and Beverages, a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts. Overall the organic industry has been experiencing annual growth between 17 percent and 22 percent over the past few years, compared with just 2 percent to 3 percent growth in the conventional food industry.
The mass marketing of organic foods in supermarkets -- which accounted for 37 percent of organic sales in 2003 -- and expansion by mainstream food companies into the organic market are spurring more growth, as is the high rate of new product introductions (1,700 this year alone).
Today's organic food market bears little resemblance to its roots in small natural foods stores and co-ops. Organic products now are marketed nationwide in the major supermarkets, even Wal-Mart, and are available in almost every category of food and beverage. But there's still room for growth; as more organic products are available in more places, opportunities to grow the market still exist.
"Organic foods and beverages have come of age," said Don Montuori, acquisitions editor for Packaged Facts. "Many of the obstacles to wider market penetration -- price, quality, distribution -- are starting to break down, and with the full implementation of the national organic standard, consumers are starting to recognize, seek, and find organic products."