Costco is an amazing place. Known for its low prices, everything-in-bulk products, and its amazing free samples, it’s no wonder that it’s the second biggest retailer in America. What you may not know is that it’s currently the top seller of organic produce in the United States.
As a matter of fact, people seem to love buying organic fruits and veggies at Costco because numbers show that Costco recently surpassed $4 billion in sales – more than health giant Whole Foods. People are buying so much that suppliers just can’t seem to keep up with demand, so Costco is supplying farmers with enough money for over 1,000 acres of land and enough equipment to keep the produce coming.
While this doesn’t seem like the biggest news, studies show that the consumption of organic produce is, in fact, a trend and not a fad diet, meaning more Americans are consuming healthier and more natural foods over time at a steadily increasing rate. This rate doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and even college students, notorious for being broke, are willing to spend the extra money on organic food. U.S. consumers have increased their spending on organic products over $25 billion over the last decade.
The reason Costco is taking on this feat is simple: instead of importing millions of dollars in organic produce to keep up with demand in the U.S., Costco will be able to fund the production of their own goods, and cut out the middlemen. In taking control of their supply chain, Costco is helping consumers pay less for produce that is typically more expensive and is also helping farmers stay in business by making the transition into organic farming easier.
Organic farming wouldn’t be so difficult if it weren’t for the fact that it’s hard to find “virgin soil” and this soil is extremely expensive. With demand for organic produce going up and no farmers able to afford it, it would have been nearly impossible to supply organic produce without the kind of investment we’re seeing from Costco. While partnerships between retailers and farmers aren’t unheard of, they usually only extend to contracts or loan programs.
Costco is changing the game by getting directly involved with purchasing land for farmers and buying them the equipment they need. Aside from this being great news for shoppers, this news is also fantastic for farmers who would have initially lost business due to America importing organic produce. This will end up helping the economy overall, and will keep prices relatively low – so we can all be happy shoppers.
While we still don’t know enough to be sure whether or not eating organic is worth it, we do know that plenty of people are making the switch, and Costco wants to lead the way.