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OMI makes case for organic bedding category

Says organic category is growing 20% per year

Bader inspectsBader inspects organic cotton that he uses in his sleep sets.
YUBA CITY, Calif. - In a showroom here filled with certified organic mattresses, each painstakingly produced by a veteran work force, true believer Walt Bader made the case for the organic bedding category.
     First he cited the retail success stories at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, sprouting up across the country like so many mushrooms, which both feature a range of organic products. The same demographics boosting sales of organic goodies at those stores are working in favor of organic mattresses, he observed.
     Now it was time for some numbers from the former marketing teacher:
"Seventy eight percent of families in the United States are buying certified organic products, and the organic category is growing at a 20% rate each year and now accounts for $33 billion in sales per year," he said.
     Then there was "anecdotal evidence" - the success the category is enjoying with retailers from coast to coast, from Get- A-Mattress in Arroyo Grande, Calif., to Long's Bedding in New York City, both of which carry OMI beds.
     Then, finally, there was the success of Bader's company, Organic Mattresses Inc., which is "growing rapidly" as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. Bader, founder and president, declined to disclose the company's sales.
     But there was one final element in his case for organic bedding. Given all of the things the category has going for it, Bader said, shouldn't retailers give consumers the choice of organic bedding products?
     "The organic mattress category has a tremendous amount of untapped demand," he said. "Once the consumer is given the choice, they are willing to spend money. But today, many consumers are totally unaware that organic beds exist. If I had the money for a Super Bowl commercial, things would be different."
     Bader has been doing his part to bring awareness to the category.

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