With an Earth Month promotion in April coming on the heels of three product rollouts in February, organic grower-shipper Earthbound Farm seems to keep giving consumers and retailers reasons to pay attention.
“Earthbound Farm is indeed in an expansion phase,” said Charles Sweat, chief executive officer of the San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based company.
“Consumers are understanding more and more that what they eat has a tremendous impact on their long-term health and wellness, and they don’t want to sacrifice flavor and experience,” he said. “So, to be in the space where we’re able to offer products based on organic salads, fruits and vegetables puts us pretty much in the sweet spot.”
The new program, “Take an Organic Step Forward with Earthbound Farm,” launched April 16 on its website and will be integrated with Earthbound’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Timed to coincide with Earth Month, it will be backed by ongoing efforts through the year, said Samantha Cabaluna, director of communication.
Consumers who sign up will receive a daily e-mail suggesting ways to make steps toward organic. Those who join will get $50 in coupons during a year’s membership. On-pack instant coupons offer shoppers $1 off on any two Earthbound items.
Further promotional periods are planned for July, August and October, themed for back-to-school and fall cooking, respectively.
The latest statistics on industry performance were expected April 23, the scheduled publication date for the Organic Trade Association’s 2012 Organic Industry Survey.
“I can tell you from my conversations with executives at other organic companies that we’re all seeing a robust uptick in consumer demand for organic, in the 15% to 20% growth range,” Sweat said. “It’s the biggest increase in demand I’ve seen since 2004, so it looks like we’re coming out of the recession-induced slower growth of organic demand.”
Earthbound’s most recent product releases:
- Dippin’ Doubles organic fresh vegetable and fruit snacks. Options are carrots and ranch dip; apples and peanut butter; and apples and vanilla yogurt dip. They come in two-count packages and retail for about $2.99.
- Organic herb purees in 4-ounce tubes, merchandised in six-count trays that retail for about $4.99. Flavors are ginger, garlic, basil, cilantro, dill and chili pepper.
- Power Greens, a mix of organic baby spinach leaves, baby red and green chards and baby kales. They come in 12-ounce bags and 11-ounce clamshells for about $3.99 and $4.99, respectively.
On the crop side, most organic plantings in San Benito and Monterey counties were on schedule in early April with promotable volumes coming, said Steve Koran, vice president of retail sales and customer service at Earthbound Farm.
“Cauliflower is the only item that has been affected with the cooler temperatures and is two weeks behind schedule,” Koran said.
Earthbound had transitioned all salad items and row crops except celery to the Salinas Valley and Huron. Organic celery production remains in Mexico until mid-May.