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“Consumers are becoming more discerning and are looking for real value in their purchases and not just the perceived value,” notes a recent Natural Marketing Institute report (www.nmisolutions.com). “This shift in behavior will impact manufacturers and retailers not just short-term but also in the future.” Despite a tough economy, the US health and wellness industry saw sales jump 9% in 2008, with the Institute predicting steady 7% annual growth over the next five years. (How many industries can say that?) In 2008, functional/fortified foods and beverages rose 5% to $40.5 billion, while organic foods/beverages and natural foods/beverages rose 18% and 4%, respectively. Notably, the natural/organic general merchandise category leapt 32%, largely on the strength of household cleaning and pet products, which are now more widely available to consumers.