Stemilt Growers 2018 Rushing Rivers® Pears Season Set to Kick Off
- by Robert Schaulis
WENATCHEE, WA - Stemilt Growers’ Rushing Rivers® pear crop is nearly upon us, and the premier provider of pears is urging retailers to get the first Rushing Rivers® pear promotions of the new crop set in place now.
“Harvest is trending a week ahead of last year, with increased crop volumes over last season and the ideal bulk size range coming retailers’ way,” said Brianna Shales, Communications Manager. “We’ll start the season in mid-August and recommend bulk and bags for the first promotions aligned with back-to-school timing. The time is now for retailers to shift their focus onto summer pear varieties. A strong early season promotion sets retailers up for a strong season which will result in elevated sales dollars, high volumes sold, and some very happy customers.”
With fruit the company describes as “perfect, pristine, [and] palatable,” retailers can drive sales throughout the back-to-school season—beginning with Tosca and Bartlett pears the week of August 20 and Starkrimson coming on the following week.
And Stemilt notes, the majority of Stemilt’s Tosca pears—an early variety with a short season and sizing ideal for Stemilt’s Lil Snappers® kid-size program—are now certified organic and available under the Artisan Organics™ brand.
“Retailers should plan pear promotions on multiple varieties at least once a month starting in late August and running throughout the season,” said Shales. “The emphasis will be on bulk fruit, but Lil Snappers® 3lb bags will remain a great option for building purchase size and young fans of this heritage fruit.”
The industry can expect about 20 million boxes to be packed and shipped in this promising Northwest pear crop, Stemilt noted in its press release, with the company contributing upwards of 12 percent of overall volume.
“It’s been an ideal growing season for pears, with a long spring and great summer weather for growing sizeable pears,” noted Shales. “Stemilt has been a leader in the pear category for years and looks forward to another season of top quality, flavorful pears to delight consumers.”
To support pear category promotions, retailers can look to Stemilt’s easy-to-set-up display bins and branded packaging that highlights the pear’s origin. Retailers can also rely on the grower story that will help with brand transparency and give consumers a product they can trust.
And the company noted, in conjunction with its Operation Flavor program—a 360-degree commitment from Stemilt to elevate the consumer eating experience for pears from field to box—Stemilt has also built two Thermal Tech Tarpless® ripening rooms in the Fresh Cube to ripen Anjou and Red d’Anjou pears. And this season’s Summer pears will benefit from the high cooling capacity of the company’s jet coolers.
“Cooling is essential to the quality of pears harvested in August, and our cooling process is designed to back the high flavor, ready-to-eat pear process,” added Shales. “Our teams use a Stemilt-specific sequence that is designed for the best airflow and cooling patterns, giving our pears the exact things they need to ensure a ready-to-eat experience right out of the box. Trust goes a long way in the pear category. We have seen a decrease in the pear category over the last decade and Stemilt is working hard to reverse that trend through programs like Operation Flavor and our Rushing Rivers® pear brand.”
Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers® pears are produced in conjunction with Peshastin Hi-Up Growers in the Wenatchee River Valley and the Entiat River Valley—in close proximity to Stemilt’s packing, ripening, and shipping facilities—by multi-generational pear farmers who, the company noted, bring a world of knowledge and expertise to bear on growing.
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