As long as a retailer “has a palatable price point,” consumers won’t really turn away from organics, Crowley said. “But once you get a big separation in price between organic and conventional, you may see a shift in your customer base to the cheaper berry.”
If the downturn had any effect, it may have been to pull organic and conventional price points closer together, he said.
“You just don’t see larger spreads as you have in the past,” Crowley said.
He added that settling prices also could be due to the increased availability of product and growers’ learning how to farm better and to get higher yields.
“That was always a big issue,” he said.
The growth of the organic category may have stumbled a bit recently, but there never was a time when organics went out of favor, Munger said.
“Our customers’ sales slowed,” he said, “but they definitely didn’t go backwards.”