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The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) reports that retail sales within the U.S. consumer packaged goods health and wellness industry reached $91.10 billion in 2006, a 15 increase over sales generated by the category in 2005.

According to NMI, the biggest segments within the category were:

• Functional/Fortified Foods & Beverages : $36.02 billion (up 18 percent from last year);
• Vitamins, Minerals, Herbal & Dietary Supplements: $20.33 billion (up four percent);
• Organic Foods/Beverages: $15.16 billion (up 19 percent);
• Natural Foods/Beverages: $13.54 billion (up 9 percent);
• Natural/Organic Personal Care: $6.05 billion (up 24 percent).

The strong performance, said Steve French, NMI Managing Partner, was a result of the “continued proliferation and convergence of health and wellness across many consumer packaged goods has created a critical mass that now reaches a majority of consumers. The role of nutrition is now a driving force to many, which is being extended to notions of purity, functionality, sustainability, and disease prevention, among others.”
KC's View:
The interesting thing is that as the sales numbers grow, the debate over the purity of the offering seems to concurrently expand. In many categories, sales would be sales…but not here.

Which is fine, since it gives us something to write about.