Stemilt Growers Pushes Summer Apple Programs for Retail Dollars
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
WENATCHEE, WA – As summer snacking season comes knocking, Stemilt Growers has announced that its summer apple program is opening its doors to unleash some of its best apples yet.
“Summer is really a big time for apples, even though it’s not traditionally thought of as apple season,” said Marketing Director, Roger Pepperl, adding his belief that the summer months play a large role in apple sales and can increase produce department dollars significantly with effort through the end of August. “With the ability to store apples in our controlled atmosphere (C.A.) storage rooms, we are able to provide retailers with high quality, high color, and flavorful apples year-round.”
In a recent press release, the grower names a number of key varieties to boost retail summer apple programs, including:
- Consumer favorite Fuji
- Increasingly-popular Pink Lady®
- Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, available all summer long in various sizes
- Galas, which will last steadily through July and can be great for Lil Snappers®, Apple Lovers, and bulk promotion
- Piñata® will last through the summer, with plenty of options in sizes, including bulk sizes and Lil Snappers
The Fuji apple, whose high brix levels help it store exceptionally well in CA storage rooms, came in as one of the top varieties last year behind the Gala and Red Delicious apples.
Stemilt’s Aztec, the grower’s high color and high flavor strain of Fuji, has grown increasingly popular among consumers, resulting in an 8 percent increase in volume year-over-year.
“Retailers should take advantage of the multiple sizes that Stemilt has available and is currently pulling out of C.A. rooms,” said Pepperl. “Our Aztec Fuji’s are peaking at size 72, with plenty of 88’s, 80’s, and 64’s to go around–with those various sizes, you will please a variety of consumers who like to purchase small, medium or big apples. During the summer, retailers should consider special in-store promotions on with our Apple Lovers 5 lb pouch bag to further drive sales.”
With a 4.7 percent stake, Pepperl said that apples are a huge portion of summer produce dollars. With this in mind, the Marketing Director added that, in addition to taking advantage of Fuji apple opportunities, retailers should push the increasingly popular Pink Lady varieties.
“Stemilt is a pioneer in orchard development with the Pink Lady apple variety. We’ve been growing it in a big way since it was first introduced, and that long-time leadership has culminated to this increased volume and dollar amounts,” commented Pepperl. In addition to being an industry leader in Pink Lady, Stemilt said it saw a 19 percent increase in volume and a 22 percent increase in dollars for the variety last year from June through August.
“Retailers will see large success with Pink Lady apples as they are a versatile fruit for summer,” Pepperl added. “Whether you use them to snack on or chop them up and toss them in a salad, they will add a refreshing flavor and a vibrant color without browning too quickly–a win-win for every type of consumer.”
Another advantageous in-store focus listed was targeting parent consumers using the Lil Snappers kid-sized fruit brand to display the full range of bulk sizes, as well as an in-store special promotion for the Apple Lovers 5 lb bag–a huge selling point for consumers who want value, according to the grower.
Pepperl added that retailers should also run promotions on d’Anjou and Red d’Anjou pears.
“Although not the focus in produce during the summer months, apples and pears can still do wonders for your produce department,” said Pepperl. “That 4.7 percent equals 1 in every $20 spent in the produce department, so continue to boost, boast, and bolster apples and pears until you get through the end summer season.”
With plenty of Rushing Rivers™ 5 lb Anjou and 4 lb Red Anjou pouch bags, retailers can see sales and volume increase with feature advertisements. To help pears not be overlooked amongst the fruits in the department, Stemilt advises in-store advertisements when print advertisements are not possible to drive sales volume up. Here too, retailers can use Lil Snapper d’Anjou’s as a refreshing, clean snack for kids throughout the summer.
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