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Mainstream Consumers Drive Fair Trade Certified Sales Up 24 Percent
Fair Trade USA Releases Sales Data from SPINS at Natural Products Expo West

OAKLAND, CA (March 7, 2011)Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, today reports new data to confirm that mainstream consumers are increasing their commitment to Fair Trade faster than ever.  Sales of Fair Trade Certified™ products increased 24 percent at grocery stores during 2010.

Today, consumers can find Fair Trade products in every aisle of the supermarket. Due to this broad availability, driven by more than 700 companies offering Fair Trade Certified products, more mainstream American consumers are becoming Fair Trade converts. The 2010 data from" target=_blank>SPINS, the first company to offer Fair Trade sales data across natural, specialty and mainstream channels, indicates that sales of Fair Trade Certified products at mainstream channels grew faster (26%) than those of specialty grocers (22%) and natural grocers (16%).

“We are encouraged by the fact that in spite of the economic recession, consumers everywhere are embracing the idea that every purchase matters,” said Cate Baril, Director of Business Development, Grocery and Ingredients. “We continue to see strong, double digit growth in the natural and specialty channels.  And we see even stronger growth in supermarkets where sales are up 26 percent, as more stores are adding a greater variety of Fair Trade Certified products and increasing selection for consumers.”

The data shows that American consumers have thrown their plastic bags away, filling their reusable totes to the brim with Fair Trade Certified products:

  • Coffee, the flagship Fair Trade category, grew 33 percent, due to the increased variety of Fair Trade coffees available through a broader assortment of retail supermarkets.
  • Ready to Drink Tea & Coffee, fueled by new commitments from Honest Tea and healthy growth from Adina Coffee, were up 39 percent.
  • In Sweeteners, sweet toothed Fair Trade supporters indulged in Wholesome Sweeteners among others, driving an increase of 17 percent.
  • On a couple of additional sweet notes, Frozen Desserts increased four percent and Chocolate rose 19 percent.
  • Moreover, a growing desire to put Fair Trade on the inside and the outside led Aromatherapy & Body Oils Body Care to increase 19 percent and Skin Care/Body Care by 32 percent.

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Editors Notes:

  • Growth rates are for the 52 weeks ending December 25, 2010 over the prior year.
  • Data includes all food, drug, mass merchandisers and natural food stores; excludes Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Markets, Walmart, cafes/restaurants and private labels.

The majority of Fair Trade Certified product sales are not represented in these data, as most sales come from brewed coffee, private label products, and retailers that did not participate in SPINS’ program.