Progressive Grocer

MAR 2017

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78 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | March 2017 Fresh Food Produce percent in 2015 alone. With organic shoppers increasingly demanding healthy organic snacking options, OTA reports that sales of organic dried figs, dates, baby carrots, Pink Lady apples, blackberries and ba- nanas are all posting double-digit sales increases. "As consumers become more aware of their health and the changing environment, we envi- sion the demand for organic products grown in a sustainable manner will continue to rise," notes Mayra Velazquez de León, president and CEO of Organics Unlimited, in San Diego. Since its inception in 2005, the GROW Fund, a nonprofit program developed by Organics Un- limited, has raised more than $2 million in aid for communities in Mexico and Ecuador through re- tailer and distributor support. A percentage derived from the purchase of each box of GROW organic bananas is earmarked for the GROW Fund. Organics Unlimited believes that success de- pends on education and effective messaging. "Because it's such an important part of our mission and vision, we integrate our social-re- sponsibility messages into all aspects of our mar- keting and branding, including banana stickers, POP, trade advertising, social media and more," explains Velazquez de León. Last year, the company revised its messaging so that banana stickers for both Organics Unlimited and GROW communicate the core values of culti- vating communities and farming in a responsible, sustainable and eco-friendly way. "One of the most important things that retailers can do is educate their employees on the benefits G row and tell o rganics Unlimited's G row organic banana stickers tell an eco- friendly story.

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