This autumn, the produce director at Marsh Supermarkets has done something I haven't come across anywhere else in my mainstream retail travels. The 99-unit chain, based in Indianapolis, has made its entire bulk apple and pear category USDA-certified organic.
The retailer, now owned by Sun Capital Partners, is currently offering up to 10 varieties of apples and 6 types of pears (including Asian) during the height of the season. "We've had a very favorable reaction from customers," said Connie Gardner, the Marsh spokeswoman I chatted with when I called to confirm the news. "It was something we felt we needed to do. We're adding organics in all areas, so to be able to do something like this is huge for us."
Even better for consumers, the volume is such that they're paying conventional prices. Marsh worked with Dovex Fruit Company, Wenatchee, Wash., to get the deal done.