New York, NY—It’s a good time to sell natural and organic foods. According to market research firm Packaged Facts, U.S. retailers sold nearly $39 billion worth of natural and organic foods and drinks in 2010.

The figure marks a 9% increase over 2009 figures and a 63% leap over 2006 sales. This growth is outpacing sales of conventional foods.

The firm anticipates this growth is far from stopping anytime soon, and predicts 2011 will “serve as a jump-start for the market as sales ultimately increase by a dramatic 45% by the end of the year.”  And by 2015, sales of natural and organic groceries will grow to more than $78 billion, a 103% growth from 2010.

Part of this growth can be attributed to the entrance of mainstream manufacturers like Frito-Lay adding all-natural products to their portfolios. This food maker says about half of its products likely will be all-natural by the end of this year. Stated David Sprinkle, research director and publisher of Packaged Facts, “Since Frito-Lay's announcement, Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola have made strategic moves to better position themselves in the market.”

Also hot are organic fruits and vegetables, which according to the Organic Trade Association, is the fastest-growing category in the organic realm.

These data are presented in a new Packaged Facts report entitled, “Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, August 2011