“We handle an ever-increasing catalog of organic items, with our largest selling commodities being red, yellow, russet and fingerlings potatoes, lemons and oranges and seasonal specialties,” said Lara Grossman, sales and marketing manager for Tomorrow’s Organics, headquartered in Monterey, CA. A division of FoodSource, it is a C.H. Robinson company. “Tomorrow’s Organics is a producer, marketer and distributor of organic fruits and vegetables,” she added.
The company produces its product in several regions, with the two primary ones being California and Colorado, and it serves a variety of customers.
“We have built our business serving the ‘true believer,’ grass-roots organic community,” said Ms. Grossman. “Through the years, however, we’ve grown and we now sell to the largest organic wholesalers in the country. Of course, we also sell to traditional retailers as well as organically positioned retailers throughout North America.”
She added that Tomorrow’s Organics’ volumes continue to grow each year.
Ms. Grossman said that the changes the company has made in current times have included a more proactive approach to reach out to organic growers and consider items that it has not yet previously marketed.
“The business is such that we’re trying to serve customers with a broader line of items,” she noted. “Within the produce department, the organic section continues to increase in terms of square footage. Fortunately, our business is growing right along with that increasing space.”
And the company keeps its options open, looking for the most appropriate opportunities to help provide quality organic produce to its customers.
The broader consumer interest in organics, Ms. Grossman believes, was spawned with the salad category many years ago. Since then the growth has been in bulk items.
“Our belief is that we’ll continue to see growth in different commodities that haven’t yet been positioned strongly as organic,” she said. “We’ll also see a sort of parallel growth in the future of items that are experiencing growth in the conventional section of the produce department.”
And she does not believe that the locally grown movement is having an adverse effect on the organic category, suggesting that organic consumers have traditionally bought local as part of their belief system.
“For example, we have known that due to the local deal in the Pacific Northwest, consumers will purchase loyally from their nearby potato growers,” she explained. “We have known this for years, and we do not expect to sell to those regions. So, this is not any sort of incremental loss to our sales.
“Locally grown,” she continued, “is a very compelling concept for consumers and retailers alike, but the fact remains that the relatively smaller regional growing areas simply cannot produce significant volume for a long duration. As far as supply is concerned, the more naturally agricultural growing regions will probably always have more dominance.”