Middle America Grocers See Organic Growth

Jul 29, 2003

By George Anderson

Organic foods aren’t just for consumers in Boston and San Francisco anymore.
Today, shoppers in places such as Fort Wayne, Indiana are increasingly turning
to organic foods rather than purchasing produce and other items grown using
more widespread farming practices.

Greg Jones, produce manager, Scott’s Foods told the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel,
“At any given time, we try to carry about 25 different (produce) items, but
we really struggle with supply. There are no national companies doing this.
The big growers, the Sunkists of the world, are not into organics.”

Scott’s, owned by Supervalu, is presently testing an organic and natural products
store-within-a-store at its Stellhorn Village location in the Fort Wayne area.

Nick Ciocca, general manager and executive vice president, Scott’s Foods anticipates
growing demand for organics and natural food products. “When that category explodes,
then we’ll probably make that a department in some of our other stores,” he

Moderator’s Comment: Is the consumer reluctance to
pay more for organics fading away?

The News-Sentinel report included as a source research
conducted by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, which found consumers were
willing to pay a “significant premium” for food perceived as less risky.

Anderson – Moderator

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