When most people think of organic foods and where to get them, they usually tend to think of Whole Foods first.
The Austin, TX-based upscale chain moved to the forefront of the organic grocery industry by making a commitment to local and organic food producers, and combining a love of good food with better quality ingredients.
But lately, the profile of the organic shopper has changed dramatically, as the movement has gone mainstream.
Customers are increasingly looking for cheaper organic options, and for the ability to buy everything they need for meals in one spot. And that’s where Costco, one of the biggest retailers of its kind in America, comes in.
Organic Goes Mainstream as Costco Grabs the Top Spot
Costco has ranked as the 2nd biggest retail chain in the United States after the Wal-Mart.
But they need to be appreciated for turning to organic food when most of the other retail chains were not ready to take a chance on organics.
They took the chance and gets rewarded for it. According to the facts calculated by financial firm BMO Capital Markets, Costco has outrun the Whole Foods by making more than 4 billion US dollars from organic products in 2015. The Whole Foods were projected to make 3.6 billion US dollars at the end of 2015. These figures show that Costco has become the number one seller in the United States.
The report stated that Costco has increased sales of organics up to 1 billion US dollars in the last six months. Some other retail chains who turned to organic has also improved their sales like Kroger (which is projected to outrun Whole Food this year) and Target.
Wal-Mart also has invested heavily in organic food along with several other major retailers who have become worried about being left in the dust.
Organic Supply Catching Up with Demand?
As per the latest reports, most of the U.S companies are forced to import raw materials and organic corn from other countries because they are not available in the United States. The U.S farmers are not getting the hint and still busy in growing the GMOs, which is resulting in the shortage of organic products.
While talking wth the analysts, Costco’s vice president and CFO, Richard Galanti said:
“While the challenges in terms of supply are still out there, they’re becoming less formidable, because there are more organic suppliers and producers, we’re working with them to commit more to it.”
Costco’s Organic Selection
Costco is a membership-based grocery store chain whose size dwarfs most other local retailers, with their immense influence and buying power combined with their commitment to organic, this seems like good news for shoppers, provided we also work to safeguard organic standards.
As organic becomes mainstream, more and more powerful interests will begin pushing for watered down standards, so it’s important to support our organic watchdog organizations as well as to buy organic (and especially from small, local organic farmers).