Who says New Englanders are resistant to change? Stonyfield Farm, the NH-based manufacturer of all-natural and certified organic yogurt, proved one Yankee manufacturer's ability to change by moving ahead of Colombo into the number 4 position in the northeast, according to Independent Research Inc (IRI). This victory for the 'little yogurt company that could' in Colombo's core market follows a nationwide trend of soaring growth in the natural and organic products segments as consumers look for foods without preservatives, hormones, additives or other artificial ingredients.

"Stonyfield Farm's tremendous growth over the last several years reaffirms the trends we are seeing nationally - that informed consumers want products that perform on every level," said Paddy Spence, CEO of SPINS, an independent research firm that tracks natural products in grocery and other outlets. "Today's consumers are demanding more in their purchases including, functional food attributes, socially responsible practices and other value-added qualities - and Stonyfield Farm has clearly responded to these needs," added Spence.

Stonyfield Farm, already the natural products category leader according to SPINS data, has consistently shown double-digit growth in supermarkets nationally over the last decade according to IRI, an independent supermarket-scanning source. IRI data shows that the company has grown nearly 20% in the northeast over the same period a year ago, surpassing Colombo in overall market share. Nationally, Stonyfield (#5) is growing more than 28% over last year's sales and rapidly gaining on national brands like General Mills' Colombo (#4), and Kraft's Breyers (#3). Overall yogurt category growth is only 8%.

Stonyfield Farm competes with Colombo's General Mills' sibling Yoplait in a new yogurt category - the tube kind. Stonyfield Farm's recent launch of YoSqueeze, the first competitor to Yoplait's GoGurt, is rolling out on shelves nationwide after being launched in late summer. GoGurt achieved sales of 113 million dollars last year, according to IRI. Stonyfield Farm seized the opportunity to come out with an all-natural alternative made without colors, preservatives, or added starches and with milk from cows not treated with synthetic bovine growth hormone. The company even added inulin, a natural fiber source that boosts the yogurt's probiotic benefits and enhances digestion.

"This is an incredible development for us," said Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm President and CEO. "When we set out in General Mills' backyard nearly 20 years ago, there were many skeptics out there who questioned our sanity in wanting to make and sell yogurt in the competitive New England market." Today, Stonyfield Farm is known not only for rolling out innovative new products quickly - yo baby, YoSqueeze, All Natural Fruit Blends and Organic Super Premium Ice Cream (all within the last 18 months), but also as a leader for their social and environmental business practices.

Stonyfield Farm, the nation's fastest growing yogurt company with product distributed in all 50 states, offers a complete line of delicious, all natural and Certified Organic yogurts and ice creams. The company believes and advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Stonyfield Farm donates 10% of its profits to environmental organizations and causes. For more information about the company and its products, call 800 PRO COWS or visit our website at www.stonyfield.com.