Sun Pacific Expands Grape Program: Welcomes Melissa Heinrich and Peter Donaldson
- by Eva Roethler
PASADENA, CA - As a company known for growth, Sun Pacific is holding to that reputation, as it continues to expand its table grape portfolio to meet consumer demand for variety, premium quality, and organic offerings. This season, the company will offer 16 conventional and eight organic varietals, including the addition of Krissy, Timpson, Allison and Great Green varieties, all sold under the Air Chief® brand.
In addition to product line expansion, according to a press release, Sun Pacific has also brought on additional leadership to drive the company’s growth in table grapes, announcing Melissa Heinrich as Vice President of Vineyard Category Development and Peter Donaldson as the head of grape quality assurance and packaging.
“Sun Pacific is committed to continuing to grow this high-demand category,” said Barney Evans, Owner and Vice President of Sales for Sun Pacific. “The addition of Melissa and Peter brings experience and enthusiasm that will allow us to continue to enhance what we provide our retail partners—high flavor programs that deliver what consumers want in fresh, delicious grapes picked at the peak of flavor and available in the best varieties.”
Melissa Heinrich will oversee Sun Pacific’s grape and kiwi programs. She previously spent the past 10 years at Walmart Stores, and most recently worked as Sr. Director of Sourcing for Walmart Global Food Sourcing, where she managed the sourcing of fruits and vegetables from California for more than 4,000 stores. Prior to her time at Walmart, she was in field buying for Albertsons Stores based in Salinas, CA.
Peter Donaldson will manage domestic and export programs, in addition to collaboration on quality control, product specification and standards for Sun Pacific grapes. Donaldson brings 30 years of experience in the table grape industry, working across business, sales, marketing, production, and packaging, in California, Mexico, and Chile. Previously, he spent 20 years with Sunview Marketing.
According to the release, recent research shows that grapes are the third most popular fruit in the U.S., and fifty-two percent of U.S. shoppers purchase grapes once per week or more. To fulfill on this popularity, retailers are looking for quality and variety of grapes. In addition to offering Air Chief® grapes, this season marks the launch of Sun Pacific’s partnership with Sun World, the company with one of the world’s longest-standing private table grape breeding program. Through this partnership, Sun Pacific will grow and market popular proprietary branded varieties, including SCARLOTTA SEEDLESS®, AUTUMNCRISP® and ADORA SEEDLESS®.
As the grape industry continues to expand, AndNowUKnow will continue to report.