Stemilt Kicks Off Its Artisan Organics™ Stonefruit Season; Brianna Shales Shares Key Insights
- by Peggy Packer
WENATCHEE, WA - The word organic serves as a beacon for health- and sustainability-conscious consumers. Expanding its popular Artisan Organics™ line, Stemilt is kicking off its stonefruit season this year with the addition of organic apricots for the first time. This crop aligns perfectly with the grower’s World Famous cherry season, making it a summer of endless opportunities at retail.
“This year’s stonefruit crop is full of opportunities for retailers,” explains Marketing Director Brianna Shales. “Lengthening the apricot season with our all-organic apricots will ensure retailers won’t skip a beat when it comes to delighting consumers with high-quality stonefruit. Then, when the apricot season comes to a close, they can follow it up and delight consumers with our all-organic crop of peaches and nectarines.”
Apricots are reportedly available now and projected to continue through the middle of July. There are plentiful supplies of size 72 or larger, providing opportunity for bulk promotion. In a press release, Shales continues on to say both apricot quality and flavor are impeccable this year.
“Although the availability window is narrow, Stemilt’s Artisan Organics apricot’s flavor and quality have consumers seeking out more,” states Shales. “When the season concludes, consumers will be thrilled to find our equally delicious peaches and nectarines taking their place.”
Stemilt Artisan Organics peaches and nectarines are projected to start around July 15, with the first peak promotion window starting the last week of July and into the first week of August. These varieties are full of flavor with large sizing of 40 series or larger.
“Just like our apricots, our peaches and nectarines are grown in the southeast portion of Washington State by the Douglas Family, who have many decades of experience growing and harvesting organic stonefruit,” explains Shales. “The region is known for its dry, hot climate, making it an ideal locale to grow organic stonefruit. Plus, the Douglas family has a keen eye for quality and flavor, waiting for the exact right moment to pick to ensure sugars are high and ripeness levels are perfect.”
The supplier’s premium peach varieties include Sierra Rich, Zee Lady, and O’Henry. Premium nectarine varieties include the Summer Flare series, Grand Bright, and Honeylicious. Retailers should plan ads for bulk promotion due to the large sizing of these fruits, with some opportunity for a 2 lb Lil Snappers® mesh-pouch bag option toward the first half of the season.
“With the larger sizing that is available, retailers can load either euros or volume fill with a small window in the last two weeks of July and the first week of August to also carry organic peaches and nectarines in the Lil Snappers brand,” states Shales. “Lil Snappers is a great vehicle for parents who are looking for healthy snack options for their kids or adults who prefer smaller sized fruit.”
Shales also states that retailers should take advantage of Stemilt’s Top Pick™ program, which only includes organic peaches and nectarines that come from the upper and top part of the tree to provide the best color and flavor.
“The Top Pick program is a great way for retailers to take their stonefruit category to the next level,” states Shales. “The fruit is picked at the right ripeness that maximizes flavors and sugars, which eliminates the consumer’s confusion about how to pick out premium, high quality, flavorful peaches and nectarines.”
Regardless of how retailers capitalize on these programs, they will have a successful season with Stemilt’s stonefruit on their shelves.
“With our expanded volume of some key premium varieties, retailers will have plenty of opportunity to take their stonefruit category to new heights this summer,” explains Shales. “Not only will retailers be happy with the results, but consumers will be too, which is a win for all of us.”
Make this summer one to remember with a premium stonefruit program and watch the basket share expand in the produce aisle.