Despite a worsening US economic
outlook and the impact of the September 11 attacks on consumer confidence, shoppers
continue to buy organic milk, veggie burgers and other health and wellness products
at a rapid clip, market research firm SPINS reported today. In September 2001,
nationwide sales of health and wellness products in conventional retail outlets
grew 21.5 percent versus the same period a year ago, far outpacing the growth
of the overall packaged goods industry.

SPINS, which, in conjunction with ACNielsen, provides the nation’s only
scanner-based tracking service for health and wellness products in conventional
supermarket, drug and mass merchandiser outlets, analyzed sales of a range of
health and wellness categories, including organic foods, soy products, and “healthy
indulgence” snacks and desserts. Specific findings included the following:

Organic Foods & Beverages

  • Organic Milk grew 32.0
    percent in September versus year ago, consistent with the 30+ percent gains
    the category has made for the past several months.
  • Organic Shelf Stable
    Fruits & Vegetables – canned tomatoes, beans and other products –
    also grew at a robust 24.8 percent in September versus year ago, the highest
    growth rate for the category since June 2001.

Soy-Based Products

  • Frozen/Refrigerated Meat
    Alternatives, such as veggie burgers, veggie hot dogs, and deli slices, experienced
    growth of 16.7 percent in September versus one year ago, higher than the category’s
    9 to 14 percent growth over the past few months.
  • Non-Dairy Beverages,
    fueled by strong sales of refrigerated Soy Milk, also grew rapidly, at 45.4
    percent in September versus one year ago, consistent with the growth for the
    category during June, July, and August.

Healthy Indulgence Foods

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  • Frozen Desserts, including
    organic ice cream and non-dairy desserts, increased 42.6 percent in September
    versus year ago, the category’s highest growth rate in the last four
  • Candy, including organic
    chocolate, showed its highest growth of the last four months, 53.7 percent
    versus year ago.

“Health and wellness
continues to be a bright spot in the US economy,” said Paddy Spence, Chief
Executive Officer of SPINS. “This information clearly shows that for many
Americans, these products are increasingly a necessity, not a luxury. In uncertain
times, one way shoppers can take control of their own health and well-being
is through the products they consume, and natural and organic products, as well
as dietary supplements, fulfill that need.”

San Francisco-based SPINS
( is the leading provider of marketing information to the health
and wellness industry. SPINS offers a range of sales and consumer information
services, including two services in conjunction with ACNielsen®.