By Thierry Malleret, economist

The remarkable performance of the U.S. stock market should not obscure the obvious fact that a positive industry trend (as for wellness) does not necessarily guarantee positive market performance.

Organic food is a case in point. In the U.S., Whole Foods, Sprouts and Fresh Market –respectively the first, second and third largest publicly traded organic stores – have seen their stock price plummet. As competition increases, additional players enter the market, lowering prices and hampering the potential growth trajectory of specialty retailers.

Between 2005 and 2015, U.S. organic food sales rose by 209 percent, which amounted last year to a $43.3 billion market. The strength of the trend – with millennials as its driving force – is impressive, but it is the mass-market retailers (Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Aldi, etc.) that now own more than 53 percent of the market and are reaping the most benefits.

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