BELLEVUE, WASH. — There is evidence of slowdowns in some categories in the organic market and indications overall organic sales are beginning to plateau, according to "The Many Faces of Organic 2008," a new report from The Hartman Group.

"Many factors are currently at play to influence the current and future picture of organic consumption," said Laurie Demeritt, president and chief operating officer of The Hartman Group. "Our research clearly reveals that while organics are still an important cue to millions of consumers for products that contribute to healthy lifestyles, conventional culture is now including organic as but one of many symbolic distinctions of equal importance beneath the overall moniker of ‘quality.’"

While consumer-reported organic purchase activity is leveling off, The Hartman Group said the organic market is far from reaching an expiration date or even a saturation point.

Ms. Demeritt said in 2006 49% of organic buyers were willing to pay 30% more for organic milk compared with conventional milk. In 2008, 62% of organic buyers are willing to pay 30% more for organic milk. In addition, 65% of today’s buyers will pay more for organic meat and poultry compared with 54% in 2006.