California-based natural and organic food group Annie’s has booked an increase in first-quarter sales and earnings.

The company said yesterday (24 July) that net income increased to US$2.1m, up from $1.8m, as sales surged 20% to $34.3m.

The company’s gains were driven by increased penetration in grocery channels and product development. Significantly, the firm said it is benefiting from increased consumption trends as families look for healthier options in spite of the economic downturn.

This result could come as further evidence of the hour-glass effect in US consumption patterns, as the top and bottom end of the market expands while the middle of the market contracts.