Food service market for natural, organic items growing

by Staff
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CHICAGO — Organic and natural foods in the food service channel have business characteristics similar to those in the retail channel, according to a study by Technomic, Inc., a market research organization for the food industry.

According to Technomic, this indicates strong growth potential. While menu offerings with organic and natural ingredients represent a small percentage of overall sales, this percentage is growing.

"We believe that sales of organic and natural products represent a societal shift and not just a fad," said Gary Karp, executive vice-president of Technomic. "Consumers of organic and natural products acknowledge that they eat these products for health and wellness reasons, but also because they taste better."

Between 2007 and 2010, sales of organic and natural products are expected to grow at a 15% to 20% compounded average annual rate. These products move to the mainstream as supplies increase and become more available.

The increasing number of organic and natural offerings being added to menus gives strong evidence of the growing momentum, said Wade Hanson, manager at Technomic.

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