Stemilt Finds Success in Kid-Sized Fruit Program Lil Snappers®
- by Jordan Okumura
WENATCHEE, WA – Encouraging kids to eat their fruit doesn’t have to be a challenge with Stemilt Grower’s tiny fruit for tiny mouths. The central Washington company who grows, packs, and ships apples, pears, and other tree fruits turned small fruit into a branding success through its distinguished kid-sized fruit program, Lil Snappers®.
“Lil Snappers’ creation back in 2011 was to help elevate consumer demand for smaller fruit,” said Brianna Shales, Communications Manager. “And now, here we are, six years later and the program has grown tremendously. We offer multiple varieties in high-quality grades which is helping retailers drive sales and target a specific and important shopper group both today and in the future–parents and kids.”
With a variety of flavors, high quality fruit, and convenient pouches, each Lil Snappers 3lb apple or 2lb pear bag holds ten pieces of fruit, which means that a household with two children can pack a serving of fruit every day for a week with Lil Snappers.
Stemilt offers Lil Snappers in multiple conventional and organic apple varieties, including Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp Piñata®, and Pink Lady®. “The varieties offered are the flavors that kids actually want to eat,” stated Shales, in a recent press release. “Today, our consumers are parents of children, but those children are the fruit consumers of tomorrow, so we need to learn what they like and keep offering those varieties.”
Stemilt also offers multiple pear varieties including Bartlett, Bosc, Concorde, d’Anjou, Red Pears, and Tosca in both conventional and organic options. “Organic pears are a niche item, but Stemilt is passionate about offering a full line-up of Lil Snappers through our Artisan Organics™ program. The 2lb offering for organic pears allows retailers to offer a lower retail price and drive sales to both the organic and pear categories,” Shales added.
The Lil Snappers program is also selling well online. “Retailers have seen a great deal of success when selling the Lil Snappers brand online,” reported Shales. “The biggest challenge retailers will face when it comes to e-commerce will be the consumer trusting someone to pick out their fresh produce. This will not be an issue for Lil Snappers brand. The consumer understands what they are getting when they decide to purchase our brand–high-quality, flavorful fruit the whole family will benefit from.”
This trust has been evident the last six years as the Lil Snappers program has grown tremendously in both sales dollars and varieties. In 2016, the year over year volume for the brand was up 131.1 percent and dollars up 123 percent, and Shales is confident that the small fruit success will keep coming.
“We expect to see a continual climb of success for this program,” stated Shales. “At the peak of the season, we will see smaller fruit sizes, making this year’s crop a perfect time to build the Lil Snappers brand at your store. Plus, Stemilt is expanding their organic availability with multiple varieties, so we will see an increase across the board with our organics category. Not only does this open more doors for organic consumers, it gives retailers more opportunity for success with the Lil Snappers program.”
While parents and their kids tend to be the driving force behind the brand, Shales confirms the grab-and-go style of the pouch bag is designed to catch the eye of any consumer who doesn’t have time to buy fruit in bulk and who prefer a smaller piece of fruit.
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