US organic food sales totalled nearly US$14 billion in 2005, representing 2.5% of all retail sales of food, according to data released today.

Preliminary findings from the Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) 2006 Manufacturer Survey show organic foods' share of total food sales is up from 1.9% in 2003.

According to survey results, sales of organic foods are expected to reach nearly $16 billion by the end of 2006.

"These findings show there is continued strong growth for organic products, which means additional opportunities for farmers and more choices for consumers," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's executive director.

Organic food categories experiencing the greatest growth during 2005 included meat (55.4%), condiments (24.2%), and dairy products (23.5%).