“Double-digit increases in consumer pick-ups, (coupled) with flat organic orchard growth in our state, is causing higher pricing, greater demand and lack of supplies as we eventually get to late winter,” he said.
Pepperl anticipates very tight apple supplies for 2014 with few new supplies for a couple of seasons for Stemilt as well for as the Washington industry.
Organic sales are growing steadily every year for Earl’s Organic Produce, San Francisco, said Patrick Stewart, operations manager.
Even during the worst of economic times, sales tend to remain flat rather than decreasing, he said.
Kale has been one of the biggest organic growth items over the past year, he said.
At Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif., packaged greens continue to drive growth in the organic category, said Samantha Cabaluna, vice president of communications and marketing.
The company conducted some consumer research that indicated that people who eat organic salad greens “are looking for things that are better in general,” she said.
People who buy organic salads eat salad greens an average of 22 times a month, whereas people who purchase non-organic salads are eating them about 12 times a month, she said.
“That’s a huge difference.”