OTA survey finds organic snack food sales eating away at conventional counterparts - Organic Trade Association
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OTA survey finds organic snack food sales eating away at conventional counterparts


News Release    

For more information, contact:         
Holly Givens (413-774-7511, Ext. 18)
Barbara Haumann (413-774-7511, Ext. 20)

Organic Trade Association Survey Finds Organic Snack Food Sales Eating Away at Conventional Counterparts

September is Organic Harvest MonthTM  and a Time to Celebrate Choice

GREENFIELD, Mass. July 8, 2004 ľ Despite the popularity of low carb diets, many consumers haven’t given up their favorite snacks foods, but instead are seeking organic versions.  A growing number of consumers are finding a plethora of certified organic snacks from pretzels to cookies, free of hydrogenated fats, and artificial flavors. These and all artificial ingredients are forbidden in the production of U.S.D.A. certified organic foods.

Sales of organic snacks are booming. In a recent Manufacturer Survey conducted for the Organic Trade Association, the snack food category was the second fastest growing segment in 2003 (meat and poultry were first), with a 29.6 percent growth in sales over the previous year.  Overall, the organic products industry has continued to grow at a rate of more than 20 percent for the past 12 years, and is now a $10.8 billion business encompassing both foods and non-food products.

“Although we certainly advocate that consumers choose a balanced diet full of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, protein, grains and healthy fats, the reality is that snack foods aren’t going away,” says Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Organic Trade Association.  “Having certified organic snack food options provides children and adults alike with foods that are grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or genetically modified ingredients, and do not contain artificial ingredients or hydrogenated fats.”

Food trends reporter and marketing expert Phil Lempert’s national consumer surveys conducted over the past six months through web site indicate that the low carb fad is over, and is being replaced by a much smarter long-term trend —  what Lempert dubs a "nutritional correction".


“Brands are reformulating: getting rid of excess sugars and fats, eliminating questionable ingredients like trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup and moving to a much more holistic approach to our food supply,” says Lempert.  “Bottom line is that everything that the organic producers have been touting and supplying to our stores for the past 20 years is now becoming commonplace and being widely accepted by mainstream shoppers.”

In a recent online survey conducted by USA Today, nearly 37 percent of those surveyed indicated they would purchase an organic version of their favorite snack if it provided nutritional benefits.  Numerous medical studies continue to link trans fatty acids from hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats, often found in conventional snack foods, to adverse health conditions including coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Major manufacturers are beginning to remove these fats from their products. Many are going a step further in developing products that contain some or all-organic ingredients.Parents are now able to provide organic versions of their kids’ favorite foods that still taste great.

"Look for this year's 'back to school' experience to be the healthiest yet, with school systems and parents embracing healthier products in vending machines and even the dubious school cafeteria finding its path to more organic products,” says Lempert.

Just in Time for Back to School —  September is Organic Harvest MonthTM

With organic foods in abundance across the country, September is an ideal time to take stock in the bounty of organic ingredients.  Organic Harvest events and celebrations of all shapes and sizes take place across North America, in parks, schools, stores, farmers' markets and at restaurants.  Find a listing of nationwide activities at

Meanwhile, OTA’s O’Mama Report is an on-line resource for parents who want to make the best possible decisions about organic agriculture and organic products.    The Organic Harvest Month “Organic For Kids” section features an abundance of recipes and chef anecdotal stories, plus information about local family organic activities and educational materials about organic food.  Visit the The O’Mama Report and The Organic Family Menu Guide at

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association whose mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade. OTA's approximately 1,500 members include growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants and others. For further info, visit OTA's web site at

Editors Note: Please see attached list of organic snack food manufacturers, distributors and retailers, as well as a chart of organic category size and growth. Click here to link to organic snack photos.To learn more about these companies and their products, visit The Organic Pages Online directory at

Companies working with organic snacks:

Earthbound Farm, San Juan Batista, CA

Hain Celestial Group, Melville, NY

Horizon Organic, Longmont, CO

National Cooperative Business Association,  Louisville, CO

Nature's Best,   Brea, CA

New Hope Natural Media, San Francisco, CA

Organic Valley, LaFarge, WI

Small Planet Foods, Inc, Sedro-Woolley, CA

Snyder's of Hanover, Hanover, PA

Stonyfield Farm, Inc.,   Londonderry, NH

United Natural Foods, Inc., Dayville,    CT

Whole Foods Market, Inc., Austin, TX

Wild Oats Markets, Inc., Boulder, CO

Barbara's Bakery, Petaluma,CA

Clif Bar, Inc., Berkeley,CA

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps / Gertrude & Bronner's Magic Alpsnack, Escondido, CA  

Driscoll's, Watsonville, CA

Earth's Best, Santa Rosa, CA

Environgentle, Encinitas, CA

Falcon Trading Company, Inc., Santa Cruz, CA

Golden Temple, Los Angeles, CA

HomeGrown Natural Foods, Napa, CA

Lagier Ranches, Inc., Escalon, CA

Mary's Gone Crackers , Orinda, CA

Nature's Sungrown Foods, Inc, San Rafael, CA

Newman's Own Organics - The Second Generation, Sebastopol, CA

Nutra Nuts, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

Organica Foods, Inc.,   Toluca Lake, CA

R.W. Garcia Co./Santa Cruz Fine Foods San Jose, CA

Sun Fresh, Visalia, CA

Uni-President (U.S.A.) Inc., City of Industry, CA

Great Western Tortilla Company, Denver, CO

Jungle Enterprises LLC., Boulder, CO

Tigris Foods, LLC, Fort Collins, CO

Tree of Life, Inc., St. Augustine, FL

Happle Gourmet Foods, Cedar Rapids, IA

Cornfields, Inc., Gurnee, IL

Healthy Handfuls, LLC, Chicago, IL

Nu-World Amaranth,   Naperville, IL

Norita, Inc., Louisville, KY

Our Family Farm, Newport, KY

Hot Mama's Natural Foods, Northampton, MA

Late July Organic Snacks, Hyannis, MA

New England Natural Bakers, Greenfield, MA

American Health & Nutrition/The Organic Harvest, Ann Arbor, MI

Purity Foods, Inc., Okemos, MI

Country Choice Naturals, Eden Prairie, MN

SunRich, Inc.,   Hope, MN

Waymouth Farms, Inc., New Hope, MN

RIBUS, Inc., St. Louis, MO

Sonne Labs, Wahpeton, ND

Tochi Products, Fargo, ND

Tawinbi Co., Inc., Keene, NH

The Fertile Hand Inc., Fair Lawn, NJ

Garden of Eatin', Melville, NY

Good Groceries, Brooklyn, NY

Health Flavors, Ltd., Brewster, NY

Imagine Foods, Melville, NY

Raw Indulgence, Ardsley, NY

Westbrae Natural Foods, Garden City, NY

Kettle Foods, Salem, OR

Sommars Ovens, LLC, Portland, OR

Garden Spot Distributors/Shiloh Farms, New Holland, PA

Organic Provisions, Richboro, PA

Simon Candy Company, Elizabethtown, PA

Lang Naturals, Newport, RI

Custom Ingredients, Ltd., New Braunfels, TX

Frito-Lay, Inc., Plano, TX

Kracker Enterprises LLC, Austin, TX

Mediterranean Delights, Saxtons River, VT

BumbleBar, Inc., University Place, WA

NatJulie Great! Products, Stevenson, WA

Nature's Path Foods Foods Inc., Blaine, WA

Organic Holding Company, Redmond, WA

Stretch Island Fruit, Inc., Allyn, WA

A-maize-ing Corn Products, Jamesville, WI

Kerry Americas, Beloit, WI

Kerry Seasonings, Waukesha, WI

USAOrganics, LLC, Madison, WI

Kettle Valley Dried Fruit, Summerland, BC

Hemp Oil Canada Inc., Ste. Agathe, MB

Anke Kruse Organics, Inc., Acton, ON

HoneyBar Products International, Inc.,Ottawa, ON      

Organic Food Category Share, Consumer Sales in 2003 in $mil

Organic Food Categories

Sales ($Mil)

% Growth 2003




Bread & Grains






Fruit & Vegetables



Snack Foods



Packaged/Prepared Foods









Organic Food Sales






Source: OTA’s 2004 Manufacturer Survey. Category and growth estimates derived from survey responses, Nutrition Business Journal’s organic industry model, SPINS retail data, and other sources.

July 8, 2004

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