Organic Consumers Association

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US Organic Sector’s Growth Slows from 20% in 2007 to 12.5% in 2008

INDIANAPOLIS — The growth rate for the entire organic sector, including nonfood items, slowed considerably in 2008.

The growth rate was still an impressive 12.5%, down from 20% in 2007, said Laura Batcha, director of marketing and public relations for the Organic Trade Association, Greenfield, Mass. Batcha said she is pleased with the category’s growth.

“You can’t grow in an industry by 20% every year,” she said.

Batcha gave an overview of the organic sector to retailers and distributors Feb. 24 at Indianapolis Fruit Co.’s fourth annual Winning at Retail convention. She blamed part of the decrease on the overall decline in consumer spending.

The Nielsen Co., New York, reported a 16% growth in the organic category in 2008, but Batcha said data was primarily from mass market stores and does not reflect trends at smaller health foods and natural stores.

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