Have you gotten your copy of the new Organic Fresh Trends 2018? 

The annual Fresh Trends survey conducted by The Packer now offers an organic-focused Special Report, which published in January.  What we found when we broke out organic purchasers from whole may surprise you. 

In the standard Fresh Trends report, likelihood of purchase often skews up as income increases. When we broke out organic purchasers, we found no strong demographic trends like income, gender, presence of children, region or ethnicity. 

What does that mean? 

Organic is for everyone. 

Sales jump

Organic fruit and vegetable sales increased 23% from 2015 to 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “2016 Certified Organic Survey,” and Nielsen’s latest numbers put packaged salad at the top of organic fresh categories, with $900 million in sales in 2017. 

When we asked organic Fresh Trends shoppers what percent of their total annual fresh produce purchase are organic, the majority said they’re buying at least 26% and up to 50%. Six percent said more than 75%.

Organic sales dollars cracked double digits for the first time in 2017, accounting for 10% of total produce sales in the second quarter. 

Organic Fresh Trends shoppers considered a number of factors when purchasing organic. Price was a big part of that decision, with 61% weighing whether organic produce is worth the cost. 

Value for money is a big consideration for shoppers, with most saying they’re willing to pay a little more for organic fruits and vegetables. Forty percent of Organic Fresh Trends respondents said they’re willing to pay 10%-24% more for organic produce, and 31% said they’re willing to pay less than 10% more for organic. Only 9% said they’re not willing to pay more. 

Organic upstarts

While well-established categories like packaged salad, berries, apples and carrots dominate sales, there are some bright spots to watch. Brian Dey, senior merchandiser and natural stores coordinator for Four Seasons Produce, Ephrata, Pa., says he’s seeing lots of movement in value-added and tropical fruit. 

“More and more customers have been exposed to things like dragon fruit, golden kiwi, mangoes and passionfruit, to name a few,” he says. “We have seen an increase in display space in stores and the risk in trying to get some of these ‘non staple’ items into a customer’s shopping cart is becoming more commonplace.”  

organic chart scroll
Info graphic by Alison Fulton


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