What Were Some of Your Top Sellers This Past Summer?
By Mindy Hermann, RD
With the summer East Coast organic fruit and vegetable sales production complete, a pair of leading distributors, Four Seasons Produce and State Garden Produce, shared their thoughts on this year’s movement ---and some of the opportunities and challenges they faced.
Jonathan Steffy, director of sales and retail services at Four Seasons Produce in Ephrata, PA, said the berry category led the way, with exceptional quality and supplies available. “Organic strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries were top volume movers in June and July and the early part of August,” said Steffy. He added organic grapes, particularly Cotton Candy variety grapes out of Mexico were huge movers. “Mangos did well also, aided by the large number of retailers building large displays and heavily promoting organic mangos from Mexico.”
Steffy added there were a couple of break out items as well. “Summer of 2017 brought several surprises. Demand for organic avocados remained strong in spite of record high prices. We also had one of our best organic cherry seasons ever in terms of volume, duration and quality,” he said.
For State Garden Inc., located in Chelsea, MA, the summer of 2017 brought steady and consistent sales of its Olivia’s Organics leaf salads and greens. Mark Pins, director of marketing, said while there were no explosive volume products, sales were steady compared to last year. “We attribute that to two factors – easy summer weather and a seasoned organic customer who has settled into their organic buying habits,” Pins said.
When asked about which items are on the way up and which are waning, Steffy was quick to note that organic vegetable spirals/noodles were a successful product line making their first summer appearance.
He added the past few months may have mark the beginning of demand normalization for organic kale. “Organic kale has dropped out of the Top 20 in our unit and dollar rankings this summer,” said Steffy. “Local production in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic plus garden harvest on kale cuts into wholesale demand from retailers. We also saw a leveling off of consumer demand that made organic kale just a good mover, not a great mover, this summer."
OPN recently caught up with Erin Callahan, the new Director of Climate Collaborative. Erin brings extensive experience at CDP and We Mean Business, where she worked directly with hundreds of the world’s largest companies, industry groups and investors, supporting them in making leadership commitments to slow climate change—including science-based target-setting, renewable energy commitments, deforestation goals, and more.Read More
By Jenn LaVardera, MS RD
With health at the forefront of food purchasing decisions, it pays to have a nutrition expert in the aisles. Currently, approximately 1,000 supermarket dietitians are employed across the United States working everywhere from large chain stores to independent grocers.Read More
While the conventional potato category tends to be driven by the value-centric potato bags, it’s the higher-priced specialty potatoes that create the buzz and increased sales on the organic side of the ledger.Read More
- Whole Foods’ Price Drops Are Attracting Its Usual Demographic
- Interested in Improving Organic Practices? Discover the Researcher in You!
- Screening of Evolution of Organic film Features Tonya Antle
- Organic Industry Shifts Away from USDA
- Organic Farming Boosts Beneficial Fungi in the Soil