New data paint a picture of non-GMO as a sales trend to stay on top of. Non-GMO Project Verified products have racked up $2.4 billion in sales in the last 52 weeks, for an increase of 66% over last year, according to SPINS. With California Prop 37 to label GMOs in the headlines and increased participation by retailers in Non-GMO Month in October, consumer awareness is at an all-time high.

The numbers are not surprising, given that the Non-GMO Project seal is among the fastest-growing label claims in the natural products industry. Over 6,000 products now claim verification from the Non-GMO Project, with manufacturers focusing on product categories known to consumers to carry the highest concentrations of genetically modified content. Chips, pretzels, snacks, non-dairy beverages and cold cereal combine to account for over $1 billion in Non-GMO sales annually, says SPINS.

Sales of organic foods are also up, 12.2% over the prior year. Consumers may be looking to organic to avoid GMOs. The USDA Organic Program, SPINS notes, does not require testing for GMOs, but genetically modified ingredients may not be intentionally added to certified organic products, and many consumers know this.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2012 (online 11/5/12)