The post-recession strength of natural product retailers has never been more evident, SPINS, the leading information and services provider for the natural, organic and specialty products industry in North America said on August 28. SPINS has consistently reported double digit dollar growth within the Natural Channel every four-week period throughout 2012.

The 900+ natural retail supermarkets making up the channel range from independent retailers to larger regional chains have the majority of their sales generated from natural and organic products. SPINS said: “Growth rates have hovered around 15% during the most recent 12-week period (ending 8/4/12 versus the same time period the prior year) and are showing no signs of slow down.

“Organic products in natural supermarkets are showing even higher growth at 17% during this same time period versus prior year as shoppers continue to seek confidence and transparency in the products they buy. Other products embodying these ideals are displaying parallel trends, including those bearing Fair Trade USA Certification (+19%), Gluten Free labeling and/or certification (+22%), and Non-GMO Project Verification (+21%).

“Though the majority of departments within natural retailers show double-digit growth, the food segment leads with gains of 17% versus prior year. Body care follows with an increase of 13% while herbs, vitamins and supplements grew by 12%.”

Products that consumers recognize as core natural brands (Natural Standards as measured by SPINS) continue to contribute 73% of the sales volume and mirror the strong growth of the stores overall, showing that brands most heavily invested in the roots of the natural products industry remain the dominant drivers for core natural product retailers and the natural products industry at large.

‘Foodie’ natural products have also become a bright spot among consumers and in response, natural retailers have incorporated an increasing amount of specialty items into their assortment strategies. Specialty products that also meet the strict quality standards associated with the core natural brands fared particularly well, with growth of 20% during the most recent 12-week period. These products are known as Specialty Natural within SPINS and represent a cross-over segment between Natural and Specialty positioning.

“Our natural retail partners have done an extraordinary job of adapting to the needs of their shoppers and building loyal relationships with their core consumers while remaining committed to the values and guiding principles of the natural and organic industry,” says Tony Olson, CEO of SPINS. “We are excited to see such significant growth as a result and are confident that the trend will continue.” Established in 1995, SPINS (www.spins.com) is now the premier provider in the USA of retail measurement services, content-based reporting, consumer information and consulting services for this rapidly expanding sector.