While the 2020 Organic Produce Summit BB #:338018 may have been cancelled, the keynote address went on. Albertsons BB #:193326 co-chair Jim Donald updated the industry on current trends from his quarantine location at the Orcas Island Market in Washington.
Donald said even before the pandemic organic produce was trending up.
“Organic produce is seeing major increases across all of my 20 commanders…anything green in organic is just blowing out,” he said.
Store-level communication about organics has changed, no matter whether it’s a separate section or side-by-side.
“The way that stores are communicating about organic produce now is far better than they’ve ever communicated,” he said. “I’m seeing the trends just going crazy.
The biggest challenge, right now, is supply.
“I asked Jerry Callahan (VP of produce and floral for Albertsons) and he said just give us product,” Donald said. “You know, R&D and innovation is all critical, but right now what we need more than anything is product.”
Brick and mortar stores are also showing their worth during the pandemic.
“I’ve always said that good a good e-commerce platform sits on a very strong bricks and mortar,” he said. “So I think it’s just been a reinforcement of the importance of brick and mortar and it’s not going away. It’s here to stay.”
The pandemic has challenged the industry to be better communicators in all areas of the business, from ensuring new clerks are getting accurate ring-through for organic to Donald’s own communication as a leaders.
“The organization, particularly in times of crisis, has to hear the leader’s voice,” he said. “He or she has to be in front of them in video or by voice, every single day.”
Watch the full keynote here: