August 1/New York/MediaPost -- U.S. sales of natural/organic food and beverages grew 9%, to nearly $39 billion, compared to under 2% growth for nonorganic grocery categories, according to a new report from

The research company reports that growth in these foods will continue to be brisk this year, citing Frito-Lay's' initiative to move half of its snack portfolio to "all-natural" formulations and other major food/beverage makers' increasing investment in these markets via new product development and acquisitions.

"Such deep-pocketed marketers are in a good position to fast-track their products into retail stores and onto consumer tables via their massive product development capabilities, far-reaching distribution networks, and huge advertising and marketing budgets," notes the research firm.

In fact, the report projects that U.S. sales of natural/organic foods and beverages will more than double by 2015, to exceed $78 billion. 

From the August 2, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.