Do you have stock in Apple®? What about in apples? Organic apples, that is.

Strong consumer demand for quality, health and nutrition helped drive a 10% growth surge for the natural and organic food products category last year. A survey in November 2011 by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) showed that 78% of American families purchase organic foods and that their strongest driver is the belief that organic products are “healthier for me and my children.” According to the survey of nearly 1,300 U.S. families, other concerns that respondents had about nonorganic purchases included the heavily processed or artificial ingredients in some foods, and the effects of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides.

“In a time when the severity of the economy means making tough choices, it is extremely encouraging to see consumers vote with their values by including quality organic products in their shopping carts,” said OTA executive director Christine Bushway in a press release.

What’s good for the body is good for the economy, too, says the OTA. The organic industry grew at a rate of nearly 8% in 2010, bucking the economy’s overall flatline. Some sectors of the organic market enjoyed annual growth of well over 30%, according to the OTA’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey.

“While total U.S. food sales grew by less than one percent in 2010, the organic food industry grew by 7.7 percent,” said Bushway. “Consumers continue to vote with their dollars in favor of the organic choice.”