Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
146 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Natural/Organic Grocery Applesauce is up 0.5 percent, and shelf-stable fruit is up 48.9 percent in natural and 69 percent in organic. Te natural and organic canned food categories with the highest sales growth all have a tremendous synergy with their corresponding perimeter depart- ments: fruit, meat and seafood, and vegetables. Tis is largely due to their convenience and long shelf life. "More conventional food companies are ofer- ing organic items, and pricing continues to become more afordable," says Paul Howard, category manager for Chandler, Ariz.-based supermarket chain Bashas'. "Organic products are very important to Bashas'. We carefully evaluate each item and are deter- mined to provide the highest-quality products at the best prices for our customers, including our private label program that is excellent for center store integration." Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets also has a strong commitment to natural and organic products. Publix integrates them into its mainstream sets alongside cat- egory favorites. Te grocer focuses frst on the shopper to provide a one-stop shopping experience. Its strategy includes item callouts, a robust private label selection and a strong shopper loyalty program. Savvy retailers need to remain laser-focused on meeting the needs of their shoppers. Tat includes ag- gressively merchandising and promoting natural and organic products across every department. Natural and organic products need to be easy to fnd and extremely shopper-friendly. Retailers should always be looking for opportunities to cross- merchandise natural and organic products in other departments to take advantage of their synergies. Tey need to develop strategies to drive shopper traf- fc into the center of the store. Natural and organic products continue to grow in importance as consumers commit to healthier lifestyles. Increasing center store shopper foot trafc needs to become a priority for retailers and manufacturers to collaborate on. PG Daniel Lohman, CPSA, is an organic and CPG industry strategic adviser with Category Management Solutions (CMS4CPG.COM).