By ELIZABETH FUHRMAN
Concerns over food safety, greater availability and standardized USDA labeling have made organics more appealing to consumers and generated a slew of new organic beverage introductions.
For 2006, the U.S. organic beverage category totaled $1.3 billion (sales tracked in food, drug, mass merchandisers and natural supermarkets), which marked an increase of 97 percent from 2001, according to SPINS/Mintel. With an even higher approximation of sales, the Organic Trade Association estimates sales of organic beverages through all channels at $1.94 billion in 2005, representing year-over-year growth of 13.2 percent. The entire organic market grew at the same pace, according to OTA, from $6.1 billion in 2001 to $13.8 billion in 2006.