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Did organic produce search interest peak…a decade ago?

google trends organic produce

I’ve long been a fan of using Google tools to track food trends, so Steven Lerch’s presentation at Viva Fresh was right in my wheelhouse.

There was one thing about his presentation, however, that gave me pause.

Lerch suggested we need to make sure to keep an eye on trends and validate our efforts. Genetic engineering, for example, isn’t as catchy as it used to be. I can believe that.

He said organic produce was another that peaked more than a decade ago, and I swear you could hear that record scratch noise in the crowd.

Say what? Organic produce isn’t popular, you say?

No stranger to myself, I looked.

And yes. Interest over time for “organic produce” in the Food & Drink segment on Google Trends did peak back in February 2006.

I’ll be darned.

… but is it that simple?

Of course not. We all know just “googling” something doesn’t always show you what you’re looking for.

If you change the search term to “organic” you’ll see a much different trend line that continues to go up.

“Organic fruit” also is gaining, but “organic vegetables” seem to be flat.

The growth of the organic category in sales and production tells me we maybe didn’t need to track it on Google Trends.

Something like elote (street corn), though? I called that one two years ago and it’s still on a huge uptick. I even saw it in the freezer case at Costco last week.

You should consider a promo for Cinco de Mayo this weekend.

Trends like street corn and fad diets are great topics to track on Google Trends, and don’t forget to drill down by region and related searches. All of that data can help you catch on to the next big thing before consumers even know they want it.


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.