Costco Buyer Projects More Demand for Organic Blueberries
Certified organic produce has seen a rapid rise in popularity in recent years. Todd Eagan is a berry buyer for Costco, and gave a presentation this week at a virtual meeting presented by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and the North American Blueberry Council. He says he sees organic blueberries continuing to gain market share.
Eagan… “Organics are going to continue to play a bigger part of our business. And not just because that's what Costco wants or what I want - because our members are demanding it. At some point, we're here to fill that demand and not shape it necessarily. But certainly I expect organic to continue to grow within the walls of Costco.”
Eagan says 2018 was the first year that Costco was able to supply organic blueberries all 52 weeks of the year.
Eagan… “If you look strictly at the organic bell curve, you would still see a little bit of shoulders between the North American and South American seasons. It has gotten better. But for the most part, we're going to have to figure out really what our members are looking for for the next 10 years. And organics is going to be a huge part of that growth. Within the next five years, I would expect our organic dollar sales to be equal to the conventional sales, if not surpassing it.”
Eagan emphasized that for all blueberries, including both conventional and organic, quality and eating experience are what matter most.