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Steve Lutz of Category Partners Shares Strong Growth Rates and Even More Potential for Organic Produce

Steve Lutz of Category Partners Shares Strong Growth Rates and Even More Potential for Organic Produce



IDAHO FALLS, ID - Organic fruits and vegetables remain among the fastest-growing product categories in the produce department. With above-average retail prices, organics usually drive a disproportionate share of total dollars while attracting large-basket produce consumers. To address these trends, Category Partners released a study showing how organic seasonal summer fruits can be an opportunity for supermarkets to drive increased sales and volume.

Steve Lutz, Senior Vice President of Insights and Innovation, Category Partners“What we know is that interest in organic produce continues to be very high among consumers,” Steve Lutz, Senior Vice President of Insights and Innovation, shared with ANUK. “We also know there is a multi-year trendline of organic produce showing stronger growth rates than conventional. Therefore, we know there is a solid opportunity for retailers to drive sales with organics fruits and vegetables. That’s the baseline trend.”

Some things that stood out in this study include:

  • The data in this study shows many conventional retailers are selling (quite successfully) seasonal organic summer fruits at levels far above the national average while supermarket competitors in their own market often fail to offer the same organic products to shoppers
  • Among the top five seasonal summer fruit categories, organic grapes and organic nectarines have the strongest volume share of category
  • Organic performance in summer fruit varies significantly by category and by retailer, indicating many supermarkets appear to be missing sales that are captured by their competitors

“I think the range of outcomes indicates that there is an opportunity for many retailer organizations to re-think their organic summer fruit program,” Lutz continued. “The sales success being generated by top-performing chains dwarfs that of their in-market retail competitors."

Category Partners released a study showing how organic seasonal summer fruits can be an opportunity for supermarkets to drive increased sales and volume

Across the produce department, organic fruits and vegetables continue to grow in sales and volume at rates that exceed conventional categories. Organic sales have steadily improved as retailers have expanded assortment and increased shelf presence.

“A combination of securing the right summer fruit organic product mix, understanding organic price gaps versus conventional alternatives, visible shelf position, and merchandising execution is important,” explained Lutz. “That said, for many retailers, success appears to start with selecting summer fruit suppliers who can provide continuity of supply throughout the full season. Getting the right supply partner easily eliminates that potential issue.”

Organic performance in summer fruit varies significantly by category and by retailer, indicating many supermarkets appear to be missing sales that are captured by their competitors, Category Partners noted

For more on this study, click here.

With the rise in organics in consumer shopping trends, maximizing this opportunity is key. Continue following ANUK as we bring industry insights, retail news, and more in fresh produce.

Category Partners



Companies in this Story


Category Partners LLC

In 2008, Category Partners was created for this very reason as a joint venture between two large grower/shippers, with the...