THREE KEYS UNLOCK ORGANIC SALES PLAN

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- In light of today's rollout of the USDA Organic Rule, there are three things retailers should keep in mind as they analyze their organic offerings, according to Laurie Demeritt, president of The Hartman Group here.The products, the experience -- which includes the sights, sounds, decor and interaction with staff that a retail setting offers -- and the community where shoppers can

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- In light of today's rollout of the USDA Organic Rule, there are three things retailers should keep in mind as they analyze their organic offerings, according to Laurie Demeritt, president of The Hartman Group here.

The products, the experience -- which includes the sights, sounds, decor and interaction with staff that a retail setting offers -- and the community where shoppers can talk with other shoppers, or maybe try a taste, are key.

"There is a lifestyle element. You can't just put it out there, but must provide the context," Demeritt told SN.

The Hartman Group recently issued a compilation of its recent years' national research about the organic shopper.

"I always tell people that these products will not jump off the shelves," said Marc Friedland, who chairs the natural products advisory committee of the Food Marketing Institute, Washington, D.C.

"Most supermarkets don't realize these foods are a service item. In a lot of supermarkets they put them on the shelf and leave them there, then get disappointed when the sales aren't there. A knowledgeable person has to be there," said Friedland, who is also general manager of the 14,500-square-foot Talley's Green Grocery, Charlotte, N.C.