The beleaguered organic sector received a double boost this week after Rachel's Dairy posted strong results and new research indicated shoppers were remaining loyal to the category.

Rachel's retail sales grew 17.3% to £29.15m in the 12 months to 13 June [Nielsen], bucking the 6% fall in the overall chilled yoghurt and desserts category. Volumes were up 14.3% in the same period.

Its Luscious Low Fat yoghurt sales rose 27.9% in value, its Greek-style ­yoghurts 13.1% and Divine Rice 3.2%. The results ­appear to vindicate Rachel's decision to drop Organic from its brand name in April to simplify its identity.

Distribution gains, promotions, NPD and brand-building activities had all helped boost sales, according to marketing director Steve Clarke. "Simply put, people still do not want to sacrifice taste and the Rachel's brand is all about making superior-tasting yoghurts and desserts."

Rachel's results come as IGD research indicates 19% of shoppers have remained loyal to organic during the recession and kept up their spend. A further 9% claimed they would buy more organic food when they had more money.

"There remains a strong core of dedicated organic shoppers who are maintaining support," said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.