Research and Markets, Dublin, Ireland, released its "Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition" report.

Researchers project U.S. retail sales of natural and organic foods and beverages will 5.5% to nearly $53.5 billion in 2014, 53% higher than sales five years earlier, with the organic foods sector leaping ahead 12.5% in 2014.

Study authors note, “Amid this rapid growth, the marketplace is changing rapidly, with new plays by traditional retailers like Kroger, Walmart, and Target, and strengthening competition to Whole Foods Market from smaller natural food chains and independents.

“Meanwhile, lawsuits over alleged misuse of natural claims on food labels have skyrocketed in the past several years. Natural claims have also been slammed by the popular media, consumer advocacy groups, and even organic industry groups as being ill-defined and meaningless. The result has been a retreat from natural labels by many marketers, and confusion or avoidance on the part of consumers.”

This revised report, Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition, examines sales and growth potential, identifying key issues and trends that will affect the marketplace through 2019. The report also analyzes and profiles major marketers and retailers in this market; discusses marketing and new product trends; and looks at consumer attitudes and behaviors toward natural/organic foods and beverages and retail shopping patterns. Included are copious tables, charts, graphs, and illustrations that highlight and reinforce key points.