Organic category to get strong push in 2012

12/30/2011 11:36:00 AM
Mike Hornick

Courtesy Columbia Marketing International Corp. This is the third year Columbia Marketing International has marketed under the Daisy Girl Organics label. Stemilt Growers plans to market organic Piñatas, Pink Ladies and several other varieties aggressively in the new year.

“We’ll do a hot push between January and April on organic retail bins,” said Roger Pepperl, marketing director for the Wenatchee, Wash.-based grower shipper. “We’ll have brown tote bags under the Stemilt Artisan Organics logo and push organic in traditional bulk as well as bagged.”

Organic apple sales have grown in the double digits for Stemilt Growers in recent years, and this year is no exception, Pepperl said.

“The crop is a little smaller on many organic varieties but consumers haven’t waned on their demand.

“Organics have swings in production. You’re not feeding the trees at the rate you would conventionally, so it’s harder to get the nitrogen into the soil. The trees are a bit less vigorous. The yield tends to be up one year, down the other. They get a little hungrier the next year, put out leaves and strengthen themselves to put out a bigger crop again.”

Columbia Marketing International Corp., Wenatchee, is in the third year of its Daisy Girl Organics program.

“There’s two approaches to organic,” said Bob Mast, vice president of marketing at CMI. “One is a natural look, one is high-graphic and bright. Our feeling is that organic consumers will purchase the product regardless of how it’s packaged. The challenge is, how do you get the consumers on the fence? We’re trying to get new consumers in the organic category. We feel the Daisy Girl catches their eye.

Organic varieties available through a CMI include ambrosia, among others.

Blue and yellow are the basic color scheme for Daisy Girl.

“We’ve got high-graphic point of sale and display materials,” Mast said. Other commodities sold under the label include pears and cherries.



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