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Organic sandwiches for lunch

April 15, 2005

Organic To Go is a small organic food delivery and sandwich store located in Washington State. Yesterday, the company picked up some valuable assets for a knockdown price from the defunct Briazz chain. Over, the course of its short history, Briazz had received over $70 million of investment and had failed to turn a profit, in the competitive sandwich marketplace.

These new stores will allow Organic To Go to expand further in Washington State and into a new territory, Southern California.

Organic To Go is the first of its kind, a delivery service and sandwich store dedicated to the provision of organic food. Clearly, this is not yet a national proposition, because despite the growth of organic foods, the number of organic consumers is not growing, the core is simply buying more.

However, if Organic to Go can locate close to pockets of the core organic consumers, they could see some success. The only danger will be increased competition from the grocery chains, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, who could easily move more aggressively into meals and deli.

The other threat for OTG is the potential for the established incumbent chains to simply change their menus and add organic items to meet this new demand.

OTG needs to create a values based brand that can claim the high ground for organic foods. By adopting an ethical and educational stance, the brand might be able to find new converts outside the core and isolate itself from competitive threats.

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