Salmonella-contaminated tomatoes have consumers increasingly concerned about what is in their food (even if the answer seems obvious tomatoes!). And an increase in food prices has some families reassessing their budgets.
These adversities at the grocery store, however, have not bothered organics; organic food companies have seen sales increase.
A study released last week by the Natural Marketing Institute and The Nielsen Co. shows that green consumers are willing to pay more for organic, natural or environmentally friendly products, according to Brandweek.
The article says that Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (known as LOHAS) consumers are the top spenders in many consumer packaged goods categories.
Products bearing an organic label represented $4.4 billion in sales for the 52 weeks ended April 19 (excluding Wal-Mart).
And small brands are seeing particularly big growth, according to Brandweek. Ian's Natural Foods grows 45% annually, and Nature's Path Foods grew 30% in the first half of this year. But organic brands now have to contend for shelf space with behemoths, as Annie's natural macaroni and cheese will do with Kraft's organic offering.
Smaller brands are getting creative in order to compete. Nature's Path is co-branding with Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm yogurt to push purchases of its cereal along with organic milk and yogurt. And Annie's and Vita Soy are raising funds for school gardens and breast cancer research, respectively.
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