NASHVILLE — Seven organic produce items have seen sales grow 25% or more in the last year, according to a presentation at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Innovations event.
Anne-Marie Roerink, principal of 210 Analytics, said IRI data shows organic tangerine sales have jumped 114%, asparagus 53% and Brussels sprouts 47%. Organic kiwi sales have grown more than 35%, while cabbage and broccoli sales are up 31%. Last but not least, organic celery sales have grown 25%.
Roerink noted in her presentation that, while most of those growing categories are small, broccoli and celery are two of the largest categories for organic produce, with broccoli at $106 million in sales and celery at $120 million for the last 52 weeks ending July 14.
Retailers may be able to increase sales among core organic shoppers by adding some of those growing categories to their organic assortment, Roerink suggested. Other fast-growing organic produce items include radishes (23%), beans (19%), sweet potatoes (18%), garlic (17%) and greens (14%).
Shoppers who regularly buy organic typically aren’t as sensitive to price as other customers, Roerink said, so assortment is more likely to win incremental purchases from that group than promotions.
Those customers are also most likely to care about health, social responsibility and the environment, so merchandising materials that focus on nutrition, minimizing waste and doing good may resonate with that group.
When it comes to occasional organic shoppers, having the mainstream items is key. The categories generating the most organic sales are berries ($714 million), apples ($484 million), carrots ($338 million), bananas ($298 million) and tomatoes ($230 million), according to IRI. Because occasional organic customers are more likely to be sensitive to price, keeping prices comparable to those of an item’s conventional counterpart is important, and promotions are likely to be more effective in growing sales.
The Packer’s Global Organic Produce Exposition & Conference (GOPEX) provides a forum to meet the rapidly changing needs of professionals who grow, distribute, pack and market organic produce. This international trade show and conference provides the ideal opportunity for organic produce professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas, source new products and services, and do business with the industry's leading growers, distributors, packers, marketers and retailers.