Organics marketers explore new frontiers

01/11/2013 02:15:00 PM
Jim Offner

Organic produce marketers note they have made progress in the last decade or two, as sales have taken double-digit annual leaps.

But there are some marketing frontiers that haven’t been conquered, they say.

“I see different items, more varied items,” said Bruce Klein, marketing director with Maurice A. Auerbach Inc. in Secaucus, N.J.

Consumers will decide how many new items will crack the year-round availability threshold, Klein said.

Organic kale served as an example of a new item that generated a lot of sales in the last year, said Matt Seeley, vice president of marketing with The Nunes Co., a Salinas, Calif.-based vegetable grower-shipper.

He said kale’s performance amazed him.

“Kale used to be that item the garnish on the side of the plate you brushed aside, but it has really done a 180,” he said.

“Dietitians and health professionals love its cleansing aspects,” he said.

Now, items like kale chips are commonly found on store shelves, Seeley said.

“Who knows what the next item will be, but last year, that was one that peaked in popularity,” he said.

Traditional retail shoppers are coming into the organic fold, said Jim Roberts, vice president of sales with Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms LLC.

“We’re seeing more of those consumers more frequently choose organics, as they hear about the benefits of organics and they’re choosing to make that lifestyle choice.”



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