A. Elizabeth Sloan

The natural food and beverage market is flourishing. Despite  the economic downturn, food sales at natural product stores rose 7.6% to $18.8 billion in 2008, according to Natural Foods Merchandiser’s Market Overview 2008. Sales of food/ beverages making a natural claim were up 10% to $22.3 billion in food/drug/mass channels excluding Wal-Mart for the year ended 12/29/08, Nielsen’s LabelTrends service reported.

Natural, organic, and no additives/preservatives topped the list of better-for-you lab…

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