The organic wet rack is the powerhouse destination for fresh organic produce sales. Data from Circana showed more than 50% of dollar and volume sales 2023 spent by U.S. retail shoppers on organic vegetables was selected from the wet rack. By comparison, sales of conventionally grown vegetables from the wet rack comprised 40% of dollar sales and 37% total conventional vegetable sales.

Retail sales from the organic wet rack were resilient last year with a 1.8% increase in dollar sales and 1% decrease in volume. This result outperformed total organic vegetable sales and total fresh produce dollar sales. The retail average price per pound for items on the organic wet rack increased 3.3% in
2023 from the prior year, twice the rate for total fresh produce pricing. Organic vegetable shoppers are very valuable to retailers.

The organic produce buyer is more likely:

  • To consume fresh produce every day
  • Take multiple trips per week and spend more on a per person basis, with focus on healthy eating
  • To be younger, either Gen Z or Millennial
  • To shop at specialty/organic stores and online
  • Have kids, particularly younger kids, ages 0-6 or 7-12

In 2023, the average grocery shopper basket was $45.90, while the average organic produce basket size is $112.42. The average number of items in the average organic produce shopper’s basket was more than double the number of items in average shopper’s basket.

Mid-October through May is peak season at retail for the organic wet wall. Backyard gardens and local farmers’ markets complement supply through the summer season. High volume periods are as follows:

  • January begins to an annual uptick in volume as consumers begin to think health and fitness.
  • Super Bowl, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Earth Day bring seasonal sales spikes in volume as households accommodate friends and family.
  • National Organic Harvest month in September is a time for retailers to connect with shoppers and help them discover the many benefits of fresh organic produce.
  • Thanksgiving sees the biggest spike in organic volume. Retailers should be well stocked across organic varieties to capture this opportunity.


Assortment should focus on these areas:

Volume Drivers – Cabbage, cauliflower, beets, broccoli, green onions, kale, lettuce, potato and onions

Growth Drivers – Baby Bok Choy, cilantro, dill, parsley, and leafy greens

Regional Drivers – Adjust your variety mix for regional preferences

Seasonal Drivers – Rotate seasonal favorites to encourage discovery and trial


Broadcast to shoppers about the availability of organic vegetables with regular promotions featuring organic vegetable items to and draw them into your store. Combine varieties to create themed recipe ideas.

Create an annual AD planner to support theme-based promotions throughout the year while ensuring
supply and minimizing out-of-stocks.


Sixty-eight percent of shoppers prefer retailers to display organic items in their own section.

  • Merchandise the wet wall in a visually compelling way using color and texture to create contrast and clean lines
  • A variety of different vegetables and colors help create a sharp-looking wet rack
  • Keep displays well-stocked and rotate product to keep the freshest items arranged front and center
  • Produce team members should learn as much as they can about the commodities displayed so they can educate consumers on usage and benefits
  • Create visible product ID tags to highlight organic produce
  • Supply organic marked purple bags to ensure proper scanning at checkout


  • All fresh produce items require special attention and care to provide shoppers with the best looking and highest quality fruits and vegetables.
  • This is especially true for organic vegetables that command price premium over their conventionally grown counterparts.
  • Exercise vigilance to ensure organic vegetable items are handled carefully, stored at the proper temperature, and merchandised to maximize the exposure of the items to shoppers.


Retailers should develop a strategic promotion plan to capture high-volume weeks and year-round opportunities. Evaluate your shopper demographics to ensure the right product mix across stores. Implement signage that highlights organically grown produce.

Contact your Cal Organic Farms sales representative or distributor for serving suggestions, recipes, and merchandising ideas to draw more shoppers to your organic vegetable set.

Circana, US MULO 52 Weeks endin
December 31, 2023
The Power of Produce 2021
IRI Advantage Annual Trends 2021 to 2017

P.O. Box 81498, Bakersfield, CA 93308