Organic products - which are often priced at a premium over non-organic products - have taken a sales hit over the last 12 months as consumers have cut back discretionary spending, according to new analysis by Nielsen's Director of Industry Insights, Tom Pirovano. In March 2008, monthly sales of organic products grew 24 percent; a year later, growth almost came to a standstill of 1 percent, marking a dramatic shift from previous monthly growth rates of more than 30 percent seen in 2005 and 2006.
"The recession and the resulting uncertainty it has created among Americans has prompted most consumers to look at every dollar they spend," said Pirovano. "At this point, it appears that cost beats the potential benefits of organic products when shoppers head to the grocery store. It will be interesting to watch if sales of organic products rebound along with the economy, or whether that trend will be a victim of the vast changes affecting consumer behavior."