CMI Orchards Preps Retailers for Company's Strongest Kanzi® Apple Season to Date

Wed. November 23rd, 2016 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

WENATCHEE, WA - CMI Orchards is bringing retailers into the fold this year, by helping them tap into the company's strongest Kanzi® apple season to date. With retail and consumer demand on the rise and a much larger harvest this season, the opportunities to drive sales in the apple category are arriving just in time for New Year's resolutions.

Prime months for Kanzi® apples starts in the early winter as local apples decline and retailers have an eye out for something new, according to a press release. CMI reports that supplies of Kanzi® are available now and the season should continue into April with imported Kanzi® from the Southern Hemisphere set to arrive as domestic supplies decline. 

Steve Lutz, VP Marketing, CMI OrchardsSteve Lutz, Vice President of Marketing shared that consumer demand for Kanzi® solidified last season, launching sales of the apple to record levels. “Kanzi® sales skyrocketed last season, jumping by over 92 percent. The amazing thing is Nielsen scan data shows that among the 25 highest selling apple varieties, Kanzi® was #1 in dollar growth increase. Consumers have discovered Kanzi®,” he said.

According to Steve Castleman, Senior VP of Sales for CMI Orchards, over the last few years growers responded to strong Kanzi® demand by increasing acreage for the benefit of the retail community. He shared that in his 30+ years in the produce business Kanzi reminds him of the kind of loyalty Honeycrisp generated in the early years after its release.

Steve Castleman, Senior VP Sales, CMI Orchards

“Coming into this season, retail demand was so strong for Kanzi® we opened our CA rooms early,” said Castleman. “I fully expect Kanzi® will be in more than 7,000 stores nationally shortly after the first of the year.”

Near-perfect growing conditions have resulted in Kanzi® fruit size running two sizes larger than normal, according to Castleman, creating promotional opportunities in large sizes.

“Retailers know that sales of jumbo-sized fruit peak from mid-December to the end of January. For the first time we’re able to offer retailers hot promotions on Kanzi® featuring size 48 and 56 apples,” he said.

So, what did Lutz have to share about the eating experience for this variety? He noted that Kanzi® is an apple with very intense flavors so it has captured a loyal following in markets that are traditionally strong for tangy apples like McIntosh, Pink Lady, and Braeburn.

“Consumers that prefer intense, highly-flavored apples love Kanzi®,” Lutz said. “Some of the best Kanzi® markets are actually in the South where snowbirds go during the winter months.”

As they say, an apple a day…

CMI Orchards