The category continues to grow, however, due in part to retailers’ efforts to keep up with their competitors who offer organic fruit.
Henry Avocado Corp., Escondido, Calif., has had an organic program for a few years, and president Phil Henry said the results have been encouraging, as the category continues to grow.
At Interfresh Inc., Fullerton, Calif., organic accounts for about 5% of its total volume, but avocado salesman Brandon Gritters said customer requests for organic products seem to have increased this year.
Sales dipped only slightly during the recession for Eco-Farms Corp., Temecula, Calif., but they already seem to be bouncing back, said Steve Taft, president and chief executive officer.
However, he said prices that were very high last year seem to have dropped to a more moderate level this year.
Almost all national and strong regional chains now have displays of organic as well as conventional avocados, Wedin said.
“It’s almost become a must for them,” he said.
Bags are a good way to merchandise organic avocados, Lucy said, because organic cultural practices produce more size 60s and 70s than conventional growing methods, and bags are a convenient way to market that size of fruit.