Rainier Fruit Company's Blake Belknap Discusses Apple Program Differentiation
- by Anne Allen
SELAH, WA - In the States, summertime means shoppers are looking to include fresh produce in nearly every meal. Apples are an ideal match for these needs, offering up a variety of versatile applications. To check in on this category, I spoke with Rainier Fruit Company’s Blake Belknap, who clued me in to current promotions and future plans.
“There is still opportunity for promotions on top varieties like Envy™ and Pink Lady® as we head into the summer months. We plan out our bins every week, and I’m excited to have a strong supply and good quality fruit throughout the summer,” the Vice President of Sales explains. “Consumers have refocused on their health after the past year and a half, bringing more fresh produce into their homes. Apples have been no different; we have seen significant growth in organic apples as COVID-19 affected shoppers’ choices.”
Rainier’s apple program is built on years of data, all of which is used to develop its growing strategies.
“We have developed an extensive organic lineup and invested in the varieties consumers are excited about, such as Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp®, and Envy, in promotable volumes,” Blake notes.
As we look forward, Blake keeps the supply window in mind as retailers build out future programs.
Rainier is planning another year-round season with organic and conventional key varieties for the fourth year in a row,” he tells me. “We’re also pleased that next year’s crop is coming along nicely. It’s an exciting time of year that builds with anticipation as we approach fall harvest.”
AndNowUKnow will continue to keep you up to date on the latest news from the fresh produce space, so stay tuned.