Masters of Merchandising: GRIMMWAY FARMS

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The increase in organic vegetables spiked in 2020. Annual revenue and unit volume in 2021 was flat versus a year ago. On average, conventional unit pricing saw an increase of 2.5%, while organic vegetables held steady with only a slight increase of 0.7%. The price gap between organic and conventional is at its lowest. The price gap was 59% in 2017 vs. 49% in 2021.

The organic produce buyer is more likely:

  • To consume fresh produce every day
  • Take multiple trips pers 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

The average shopper basket is $49.28, while the average organic produce basket size is $85.82. The organic produce shoppers related items sales are 74% greater than the average basket.

Organic Vegetable seasonality is November through April. High volume periods are as follows:

  • January begins to 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 retailer to connect with shoppers and to help them discover the many benefit 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 – 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 avail-ability 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 themed base promotions throughout the years 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 on the commodities displayed so that 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


  • Organic vegetables should be displayed in their own section clearly labeled with signage and channel strips
  • Use signage to tell shoppers about the farmers that grew the vegetables and provide nutritional information and ideas to prepare the items.
  • Communicate the sustainable practices and level of care required to produce organic vegetables
  • Display signage featuring trusted farms and farmers to develop a connection between the shopper and the grower
  • Provide shelf talkers with inspiring recipes and cross promotional offers


  • 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 high-lights 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.

The Packer “Organic Fresh Trends 2021” The Power of Produce 2021
IRI Advantage Annual Trends 2021 to 2017 Supermarket News – Grocery Basket Size.

P.O. Box 81498, Bakersfield, CA 93308

Read the entire Masters of Merchandising supplement.