U.S.: Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers sees high demand for organic fruit

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U.S.: Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers sees high demand for organic fruit

Following what has been described as an ideal growing season and a beautiful harvest, Wenatchee, Washington State-based Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers has cited "exceptional" movement of all apple and pear varieties with demand soaring in the organic category. 

Oneonta national narketing representative Brent Shammo said as demand for organics increased, the company continued to transition acreage to certified status.

“We have seen outstanding growth in both organic pears and apples,” Shammo said.

“This season we had our first year out of transition for organic pears, and demand has actually outpaced supply. To keep up with that demand, we are transitioning more acreage during the next three years.”

Citing category statistics, Shammo said that in the past six years apple and pear organics have grown by about 30% and "there has been no slowing that trend down".

Once the domain of “health food” and specialty retail stores, organics are now found in most mainstream outlets.

"Organic growth has moved away from only specialty stores to large retailers like Walmart and Kroger," he said.

"It has shown the consumer demand for organics is not only for shoppers at specialty stores but for everyday customers. With the increased retail availability and the national attention organics receive, both suppliers and retailers can continue to grow their organic footprints."


As a major grower-shipper of organic apples and pears, Oneonta Starr Ranch is seeing an uptick in demand for certified varietals

“Customer trends point towards a movement to organic varietal apples, and we are transitioning more Honeycrisp and Pink Lady to keep pace with demand. As we go forward with the program, we will have more certified organic fruit in all varieties certified, with Gala, Fuji and Granny Smith leading,” Shammo said.

“Our organic apples not only have great flavor, but they also have beautiful color and very good sizing. The Galas and Granny Smiths are great for our consumer bag program, and with the sizing profile and customer demand, organic two-pound pouch bags have hit the ‘sweet spot’ this year with both retailers and their customers."


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