Piñata® Apples Prove Insta-Worthy
- by Maggie Mead
WENATCHEE, WA - It’s time to wake up people! Haven’t you gotten the word yet that apples are way more versatile than just a snack? Well, you will soon, because Stemilt Growers is pushing to educate consumers on the culinary applications of Piñata® brand Pinova cultivar apples through social media. Teaming up with spokes-chef Ethan Stowell, who visited Stemilt in January, is just the first step in the journey to consumer apple appreciation.
“Chef Ethan Stowell is a culinary leader and his recognition of Piñata’s capabilities in the kitchen helped pave the apple’s way to other chefs around the nation,” said Brianna Shales, Communications Manager, in a press release. “Not only are we giving chefs a taste of the best culinary apple out there, but we’re also seeing added brand exposure for this Stemilt signature apple.”
The Piñata brand has been making waves in multiple social media channels, including the mega-popular Instagram. The company has been teaming up with well-known chefs to introduce the apple variety to a new customer base. Chefs like Lacey Baier and Cynthia Chen McTeman, with a combined Instagram following of 257k followers, have spread the word to fellow chefs, foodies, and bloggers around the world that Piñata apples are where it’s at.
“Having social-friendly chefs recognize Piñata through their social media channels is exactly the kind of marketing we strive for,” Shales said. “Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely effective and it’s the type of authenticity we crave here at Stemilt.”
The variety has been recognized in 16 pieces of coverage so far in 2019, and has curated a reach of over 676k social media followers. The company’s most recent social media foray, a recipe video entitled “the Apple Snack Bar in a Jar,” has been a hit. The minute and a half video shows a creative, fun way to use Piñata apples with common ingredients in no time at all.
“Using the apple in a fun, creative, and an easy way speaks to multiple demographics,” stated Shales. “Not only does this apple perform well for culinary needs, but it is also a great apple for the consumer who doesn’t consider themselves a master chef. This apple really can do it all.”
Retailers will be pleased to know that they can carry Piñata apples year-round due to Stemilt’s collaboration with companies in the southern hemisphere. Imported conventional Piñata apples will begin to arrive and the end of April and continue through May. Conventional Piñata apples originate from Frusan, a company based out of Chile. The organic variety of Piñatas will run on the same timeframe as the conventional varieties, and are grown in Argentina by Patagonia Organics.
“Our import program for Piñata features two great producers and helps bridge the gap in apple supplies, and between Piñata crops,” said Shales. “Both Frusan and Patagonia are premium growers, packers and shippers and grow fruit to the same World Famous standards we hold here at Stemilt.”
Both Chilean companies grow and harvest Roho, a high color strain of the Pinova cultivar. Piñata apples come from three heirloom varieties—Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin, and Duchess of Oldenburg. Stemilt founders, the Mathison family, adopted the Piñata as the company’s first signature variety in 2004, and have been growing them in Washington State ever since.
“Piñata is a great apple to have in store as we head into the spring and summer months,” said Shales. “It’s juicy, has a crisp bite and tropical flavor, and the culinary abilities keeps winning shoppers and chefs over.”
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