Organic fruit dollar volume and dollar sales rose 12.6 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.
Organic Produce Network and Nielsen data show items leading the list were berries, experiencing a 22 percent sales increase. Berries are followed by bananas and apples.
Sales of organic strawberries, blueberries and blackberries exceeded $586 million in 2017, with volume up 22 percent.
Organic apple volume increased 11 percent and banana volume was up 17.5 percent.
Organic fruit suppliers say they’ve got plenty of product to go around this season.
CMI Orchards LLC of Wenatchee, WA is reporting its biggest tonnage year on organics this season with apples. The company markets the Daisy Girl Organics brand.
Most of the increase is attributed to acreage transitioning from conventional.
The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, B.C. reports its imported organic apple program is winding down as it is preparing for its fresh-crop organic Envy, Jazz and Pacific Rose from Washington.
Oppenheimer also is currently handling organic Zespri green kiwifruit and the increasingly popular SunGold kiwifruit.
Stemilt Growers Inc. of Wenatchee, WA is shipping organic versions of all the fruit the company grows. This includes organic cherries and apricots during the summer, as well as an entire crop of organic peaches and nectarines.
Other times of the year, Stemilt ships organic apples and pears.
Homegrown Organic Farms of Porterville, CA notes some growers have left the organic business since the could no longer meet the size, color and flavor requirements and still receive organic certification. The company reports consumers still will pay a premium for organic tree fruit, but the bar has been raised from when they would pay more for a product simply because it’s organic. An organic product has to look just as good as conventional now.
Another popular organic item are bananas.
Dole Food Co. of Westlake Village, CA is seeing its strongest growth in demand for organic bananas.
Organics Unlimited Inc. of San Diego offers plantains and coconuts, but its bestseller by far is organic bananas and the company is expecting sales increases to continue.
The company currently is adding acreage.