Heat check for organic fresh produce

01/21/2014 04:43:00 PM
Tom Karst

Tom KarstJust the other day my young adult daughter Betsy was talking about a “de-tox” diet, and I have a feeling that she isn’t the only American who has turned his or her thoughts toward a wholesome diet, a “new me” New Year’s resolution.

Then, just this morning, I see a red-lettered link on the Drudge Report that said “Organic food shortages reported.” The story, posted on MyFoxNY.com had an even more dramatic headline, “Organic food shortage hits U.S..”

The story said some major grocery chains are reporting shortages of organic and cage free eggs, and quoted Jon Steffy of Four Seasons Produce and the blog Organicproducegeek.com about the state of organic produce demand.

Steffy - I called him this afternoon but didn’t reach him - said that demand for organic produce is heightened with the spate of New Year’s resolutions and the urge to adopt healthy diets. Organic cucumbers are in particularly short supply, he said.

I made a few calls today about organic produce demand and did gather a few comments about strong organic produce demand early this year. Watch for coverage on the organic produce market tomorrow.

A quick check on the organic tree fruit market shows that the average price per carton for organic apples was $38 per carton in mid-January this year, up from an average of just $31 per carton last year at the same time. At least for apple marketers, the organic market is heating up.

What do readers think about the state of organic demand? Did the MyFoxNY story go too far? How “hot” is organic produce right now?



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John Pandol    
delano,ca  |  January, 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM

My young adult daughter, who has worked in the fashion industry and is currently in the entertainment industry, tells me that detoxes and cleanses are the new eating disorder.

John Pandol    
delano,ca  |  January, 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Organic it's the category we love to hate. Merchandiser seem to love it, it's the stuff that builds big baskets of high margin items from discriminating shoppers. Operations guys hate it, a lot of slow moving items sold to picky customers and you have to deal with the shrink, usually by remarking it as conventional or using it in your in store food service operation. The Washington apple guys have figured out the category real good, and do an excellent job of withholding enough organic apples from the market to recooperate the cost of the organic apples sold as organic and the huge amount sold as conventional. We asked a major retailer if we should have some organic grapes and they told us no, the category already has enough players.....at 2 maybe 3% of production. You know the other produce item that we always seem to be out of? That box at X dollars that someone promised and they now have to cover the order.

Amy Pearson    
Florida  |  January, 24, 2014 at 07:27 AM

Organic foods are more reliable than those GMO foods out there. http://livingorganic.org/

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