Is Organic Food a Victim of This Economy?

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I hear all the time from people I meet and know that the demand for organic food has not decreased during this economic down time. I have had a few recent experiences that are causing me to question whether this is true. I’ll summarize them here and then if any readers have an opinion or knowledge of what is really happening, please leave a comment for us.

The first thing I have noticed is that one of the big grocery chains I sometimes shop at has had a few changes. They have a health section with a pretty good selection of organic food. What is happening is that in the dairy case, they are sometimes out of stock on items. I asked if this was because they could not keep up with demand, and was told it was really the opposite. They have been placing smaller orders because sales are down. So once in a while when something does sell well, they run out of stock. I also noticed they are marking down a lot of perishables that are approaching expiration dates. The clerk working in the department a couple of days ago told me that their sales have dropped quickly over the past couple of months.

I also noticed at another store that sells organic chicken that there is a whole case of 50% off organic chickens that are only a few days from out-dating. This worked well for me as I bought several and froze them, but I guess it a sign of reduced sales leading to the markdowns.

Then today I read in our local paper that Amy’s Kitchen, a maker of many different kinds of packaged, canned, and frozen, organic foods is scaling back operations and cutting 30 jobs. The company, with production facilities in Northern California and Southern Oregon, has seen sales decline as “shoppers reduce spending on organic food in favor of cheaper alternatives”.

On the other hand, the owner of a small chain of large discount grocery stores, which happens to have a big organic food selection in their health food department, claims his sales have been unaffected by the economy.

I suppose it makes sense that the organic food demand would be down right now, but as I noted above, many people I know are claiming it is not.  What has been your experience?

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Will Sig
1 Anna

You know Will we have small stores and chain stores. The chain stores actually promoting organic food left and right, and sometimes it is actually cheaper to buy organic at the chain store than the small local health store. However, the small stores carry the same items, and double the price….In terms of items like organic chicken, looks like the chain store is always out of it, but it applies the same to all their meats and poultry, I think they just trying to keep fresh….So far I had good experience with organic food, too bad that the small health stores have to compete with chain stores, especially stores like Walmart. Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..Mr. President Barack Obama Thank You For Visiting Canada

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2 Will

Hi Anna – That Walmart issue conflicted me back when they announced they would be selling organic food. But the big one here has a very limited selection so I am not sure it is working out for them.

I was at one of the local groceries yesterday and indeed found three more organic chickens marked down 50%. Bought them and put them in the freezer! Also found out that the raw almond butter I have discovered has gone up in price to almost $10.00 per jar! That really hurts. Just for fun, I looked at the price of the same size conventional peanut butter and that was $1.99. Organic peanut butter was $4.99.

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3 Bob

Noticing the same thing here about not having a whole lot of organic food, what there is, nearing the expiration dates.

Bobs last blog post..Sunrise Images and A Total Solar Eclipse

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4 Natalie

The food coop we’re members of here in Central Minnesota is doing very well. I never shop for organic food at chain stores because I believe in supporting a coop that fills its fruits and veggies bins with fresh foods that are grown by a local CSA (community sustained agriculture), and buys fresh frozen meats from nearby farms. We’ve been spoiled by cheap food, but look at the price! By choosing to buy organically-grown, locally-grown foods that are chemical-free, we’re buying better health for ourselves. Conversely, the cheap stuff eventually leads to health problems that will carry a much greater cost—doctor bills, pharmaceuticals (even more chemicals!), and hospital stays. That trade-off is not one I’m willing to take, but it’s just one reason why I strongly support organic foods that come from local farms.
Natalie, http://www.examiner.com/x-693-Organic-Food-Examiner

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5 agedwards

The food coop we’re members of here in Central Minnesota is doing very well. I think they just trying to keep fresh….So far I had good experience with organic food

agedwardss last blog post..agedwards

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