Organic Fresh Produce Accounts for Ten Percent of all Produce Sales Last March

Organic Fresh Produce Accounts for Ten Percent of all Produce Sales Last March

MONTEREY, CA - The organic category continues to make strides, capturing upwards of 10 percent of all whole produce dollars through the first quarter of 2017 with organic packaged salads acting as the main driver of the category.

In a partnered analysis with Nielsen, the Organic Produce Network (OPN) noted in a press release that in the more than 10 percent of sales that were organic produce for retailers across the country, packaged salads were responsible for 20 percent of all organic fresh produce sales.

Organic Produce

“Transparency continues to be a driver of growth as a majority of consumers demand to know how their products are made, grown, or raised,” Nielsen’s Director of Strategic Insight, Andrew Mazursky, commented. “Retailers and manufacturers continue to adapt to this trend across the entire store, including produce, where organic sales continue double-digit growth rates.”

Other notable findings for the quarter included that:

  • Organic berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.) and apples made up the top three organic fresh produce items sold in March
  • At $74 million, organic berries and apples accounted for nearly two-thirds of all fruit sales
  • Vegetables accounted for a larger portion of organic dollars than fruits ($189 million vs $119 million) for March 2017.
  • Nearly one-third of all carrot and cooking green vegetables were sold as organic for March 2017

Matt Seeley, CEO, Organic Produce Network“Partnering with Nielsen to provide OPN readers with the most current and relevant information as it relates to the fastest growing segment of the fresh produce industry is an essential component of our mission and one we look to develop further in the coming months,” said Matt Seeley, CEO of OPN.

As for what can be expected, OPN and Nielsen said that organic fruit commodities sales and volume will grow significantly in the coming months, with California production of organic melon and grapes production getting under way. Additionally, the value-added category for organic fresh produce was cited as an area for potential growth and development with the marketing value of convenience.

Of all value-added sales in March, organic produce stood at five percent, but OPN noted that while some consumers might enjoy the value of convenience, to err on the side of caution for shoppers that might find the price too high.

Stay tuned as we continue to watch this and other facets of fresh produce grow and take further shape within the industry.

Organic Produce Network

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Organic Produce Network

Founded by agricultural industry veterans Matt Seeley, former VP of Marketing for The Nunes Company, and Tonya Antle,…