- The Organic Trade Association said sales of organic fruit have grown by 123% and organic vegetables have increased by 92% in the past five years, according to Progressive Grocer.
- Different stores are working to increase organic sales. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage employs health coaches in its more than 135 stores in 19 states.
- Fruit, especially bananas, is a main driver of organic growth. OTA said the organic banana market has reached $165 million, increasing by more than 30 percent in just 2015. Sales of organic baby carrots, dates, dried figs, apples and blackberries also have posted double-digit increases.
Grocery retailers are pushing organic and natural sales because those products provide more revenue thanks to higher prices. Plus, with consumers looking to eat healthier, demand has never been higher.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic products are now available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and nearly 3 out of 4 conventional grocery stores. Produce makes up almost half of that.
Packaged Facts released a report that the organic and natural industry reached $69 billion in total sales last year, an 11% increase over 2015, and a 32% gain over the past five years.
Shoppers' interest in produce on the whole is skyrocketing. While stores should make organic produce available, they should also continue to stock lower-margin conventionally grown produce. Consumer research has shown some are confused about the benefits of natural and organic products and would rather buy conventional produce. Through signage and staff to provide information to shoppers, stores can work to educate shoppers on why they may want to choose organic products, as well as an explanation about what makes them different.