Creative marketing helps stores boost the bottom line for organics
Retailers and suppliers have struggled to boost organic growth for a few different reasons, but they are using creativity in their marketing strategies to get the most bang from their buck for organic products.
Traceability programs, social media platforms and promotion efforts are marketing strategies employed by organic farms to better engage with consumers, farms told The Packer.
Retailers have seen success by focusing on the natural entry point into organic products for consumers, such as focusing their efforts on selling the already widely popular gala and red delicious apples, Steve Lutz, senior strategist for CMI Orchards, told The Packer.
Consumers have an increasing desire for healthy, transparent products. Many consumers possess the mindset to avoid herbicides, artificial preservatives and additives, as well as pursue transparency and recognizable ingredients. However, despite these trends, retailers have struggled to get the best returns from organic products.
Consumers are not only looking for transparency about products themselves, but also about the company that made them and the conditions under which they were made. Appealing to this consumer demand for transparency has worked for Homegrown Organic Farms, based in Porterville, California. This year, the company has focused on social responsibility and how it cares for employees.
Wish Farms from Plant City, Florida, engages with consumers by soliciting feedback through its "How’s My Picking?" traceability and survey program. The company is also very active across social media.
Different strategies have been used to appeal to consumers in-store. One way stores can boost organic sales is by focusing on what consumers normally buy. Creating lower price points for organic varieties of consumer favorites entices them to switch from conventional products.
Another tactic is for retailers to pay careful attention to the price spread between the organic product and the conventional substitute. “The sweet spot appears to be a per-pound price premium of between 50 and 75 cents per pound. Getting the shelf pricing right is key to accelerating organic sales and reducing shrink,” Steve Lutz, senior strategist for CMI Orchards said to The Packer.
Some consumers are still unsure of what the term organic specifically entails. It is also important that store produce staff have some knowledge about organic standards.
Michael Castagnetto, vice president of sourcing for Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Robinson Fresh suggested to The Packer that cross-promoting products with other organic items — like organic snacks or organic meat — to provide shopping convenience, and to have a smaller destination for snacking items near the larger organic display to capture additional impulse purchases.
With organic sales remaining strong throughout 2017, only time will tell if these strategies serve to further capture consumer interest in purchasing organic products.