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Pushing organic's upward trajectory further

New consumer data and analysis related to increased organic fresh produce sales from a pair of the industry’s leading trade organizations will be featured as part of an educational session at the fourth annual Organic Produce Summit.ops 

Leaders from the Organic Trade Association and Produce Marketing Association will present highlights from newly conducted research on what is driving organic fresh produce sales and how the industry can continue its upward trajectory in attracting new consumers to the category.

Laura Batcha, president of the Organic Trade Association, will discuss a new research project done in conjunction with the Natural Marketing Institute on messaging to organic customers and the development of a toolkit for organic industry members to use based on the findings of the research.  

Steve Lutz, PMA vice president, US West and Canada, will update OPS attendees on the latest organic performance trends and provide an initial look into focus group findings from a research partnership between PMA and the Organic Produce Network.

“Consumers of all ages, all income levels, and of all demographics are buying organic, and they’re hearing and learning about organic from a wide variety of sources. The Organic Trade Association has collaborated on a six-phase research project with the Natural Marketing Institute to better understand what messages penetrate deeper than others, and what attributes of organic are the most valued by today’s diverse organic customers. We are excited to unveil the comprehensive suite of produce insights at OPS this July in Monterey,” said Batcha.

The session will be moderated by Kevin Coupe, founder of MorningNewsBeat.com. PMA’s Lutz said his presentation will focus on organic fresh produce performance at retail and consumer alignment as the category continue to grow.  “How are consumers aligning their increased demand for organic fresh produce into actual purchases at store.  What are the key purchase barriers and ways to convert potential customers into consistent buyers?  We will explore the trends and opportunities that lie ahead for all OPS attendees,” Lutz said.

The announcement of the educational session featuring new consumer sales data and analysis rounds out the 2019 OPS educational sessions.  Additionally, fresh produce leaders from three of the nations’ most progressive retail and online grocery operations have been confirmed as panelists for the Retailer Roundtable. One of the most anticipated events at OPS 2019, the Retailer Roundtable will feature panelists Don Barnett, chief operating officer for Sun Basket; Greg Corrigan, senior director of produce and floral for Raley’s; and Vic Savanello, vice president of produce for The Fresh Market. Tonya Antle, Co-founder of the Organic Produce Network will serve as moderator.

In addition, two keynote presentations featuring organic consumer activist Robyn O’Brien and award-winning chef and author Dan Barber, as well as a series of five other educational sessions focusing on a variety of topics and subject matter related to the multi-billion-dollar organic fresh produce industry are on tap for OPS attendees.

Other educational sessions at OPS 2019 are What Lies Ahead for Wholesalers of Organic Produce?; Tackling Food Waste — Good for the Planet and the Bottom Line; The Future of Organic Meals at Retail; International Insights and Trends on Organic Produce; and International Organic Produce Supply.

OPS 2019 also includes a selection of field tours for retailers and buyers; a gala opening night reception and a trade show featuring 148 producers and processors of organic fresh produce from across North America and the globe.

Register to attend OPS 2019 by visiting www.organicproducesummit.com.