Tonya Antle’s retail panel at the Organic Produce Summit had a lot of great content in less than 30 minutes. Not all of it fit into the coverage I had from the show.
One particular question she posed to the retailers brought a few chuckles to the crowd.
“Quick question for all of you - Do you eat organic? Do you eat a lot of organic? Are you bi?"
All three retailers acknowledged, at least, that they eat both organic and conventional produce. If you can call that “bi,” than most, if not all of us, are "bi" too.
One retailer said he buys organic, but gets “really frustrated” when his store’s cashiers occasionally ring it up as conventional.
Another retailer said he and his family were big organic consumers:
“We tend to buy quality first and foremost. And so if it gets down to either not availability, or poor quality, we would go with conventional..but we’re migrating and evolving in our household.”
The third retailer said he is attracted to certain commodities that he thinks have superior flavor compared with their conventional counterparts.
Another anecdote from the OPS: Jose Rossignoli, director of global sourcing, Robinson Fresh, the moderator of the international workshop revealed that one of the international panelists mistakenly flew into Monterrey, Mexico, and had to be hustled up to the conference in Monterey, Calif. from there. However, Rossignoli nobly wouldn’t spill the beans on which of the three panelist had that unfortunate travel fail.
There is a great poll this week on The Packer website. It is:
In terms of total department sales, what percent will organic produce account for by 2025?
In early voting, we see a fair amount of optimism:
Organic % of total produce by 2025 Poll results
5% to 10% 5%
11 to 15% ` 38%
16% to 20% 14%
Greater than 20% 43%
I shared the poll on LinkedIn and Doug Stoiber ventured a very optimistic guess of 75%. He responded:
"I think consumers will continue to drive demand to the point that will make growing both conventional and organic commodities will not be economically feasible for most growers - who will follow the trend to more organics. Which will drive the price of organics down, thus making the choice easier for consumers."
TK: Doug’s guess seems quite high to me, but the point is that momentum will carry the trend toward organic higher over time. If that kind of shift happens in less than ten years, the transformation in produce marketing would be unprecedented.