Safeway is one chain store that has reduced retail prices on organic produce and seen substantial sales gain, Spezzano said. Increasingly, conventional growers offer some organic commodities, he said.
“I think the success of the category is to get the crossover shopper to buy organic,” he said. Some observers say consumers will crossover easily if organic produce is not more than 20% more expensive than conventional, he said.
The growth of year-round organic supply of berries and packaged sales has also helped boost results.
“Retailers are riding the wave of category growth,” he said.
Spezzano said organic produce sales may begin to sink below double digits within five years or so but he predicted high single-digit growth for the category after that.