Stemilt Showcasing Artisan Organics™ Program with New Promotions and Opportunities

Thu. October 20th, 2016 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

WENATCHEE, WA – Fall and winter are the perfect time for retailers to keep their market share of organic apples with new and exciting promotion opportunities. This year, Stemilt Growers is supporting its retailer partners with its Artisan Organics™ program to drive sales in the category.

Roger Pepperl, Marketing Director, Stemilt“The organic apple crop in Washington State is very high quality this year, with high-colored fruit and slightly larger-than-normal sizing that lends well to bulk promotions,” said Marketing Director Roger Pepperl. “This time of year is historically a time when local apples are merchandised and organics can take a backseat since they aren’t readily available in all regions. However, now is not the time to ignore one of the fastest growing items in produceorganics. Organics are growing rapidlyespecially in the produce departmentand the fall and winter is the ideal time to promote organic apples with the same vigor and excitement as conventional apples.”

Along with the incredible evolution of organics, retailers are also continuing to celebrate October’s National Apple Month and are preparing for big holiday promotions around apples.

Pepperl says that keeping the gas pedal down on organic apple promotions is a must to help the category grow. He adds that the key in organic marketing success is in lining up the 4P’s of marketingproduct, price, promotion, and placement. 

This year, Stemilt’s Artisan Organics™ program has grown to include a new Fresh Blenders™ 4 lb pouch bag of organic apples, as well as a full line-up of organic offerings in its popular Lil Snappers™ kid-sized fruit pouch bags.

Stemilt Lil Snappers™

“Fresh Blenders and Lil Snappers market intended usage to consumers right at the point of sale, making for easy in-and-out promotions that work. Fresh Blenders brings a value offering to the organic category, especially when featuring a variety like Red Delicious, which is high in antioxidants and the best juicing apple around. Lil Snappers™ come in 3 lb pouch bags to keep the organic apple purchase size high. They are only available in flavors that kids love, which makes parents happy along with the convenience the product provides them with,” said Pepperl.

Stemilt recommends using its new “There’s An Apple For That” display bins to merchandise bulk organic apples. The bin calls attention to apples and promotes the website, appleforthat.stemilt.com, which educates consumers on what the best apple is to use when making their favorite recipes and dishes.

Stemilt Display with New Slogan "There's An Apple For That"

“It’s a great program to highlight applesincluding organic applesas we near the holiday season,” Pepperl said. “It’s a fun promotion that we support digitally as well in order to help retailers inspire consumers and give them new ideas for using the many apple varieties available today.”

Looking for some numbers to satiate your organic growth curiosity? According to the Organic Trade Association and Nielsen Fresh Facts scan data, more than half of households in the U.S. purchase organic produce. On top of that, in 2016 organic produce grew by 16.4% in dollar sales when compared to the year prior. The 2015-16 organic apple crop was down in volume from normal, but increased 6.2% in dollars over the year prior, making up nearly 10% of the total apple category dollar sales, and 7% of the volume sold.

So what varieties rose to the top? The fastest growing organic apple varieties last season were: Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala, and Pink Lady®, which highlights the fact the organic shoppers are not only willing to pay a premium for organic, but also for new, flavor-forward varieties, according to a press release.

Stemilt Fresh Blenders™

“Organic apples are an important part of the overall apple category, and need to be promoted regularly between now and June. We encourage retailers to include organic produce in every weekly ad, and apples should be a big focus in those ads since they are in season and incredible in quality this year,” Pepperl added.

Stemilt has been growing apples organically since 1989 in Washington State, which offers an arid climate. Little precipitation results in cleaner, higher color organic fruit, the company adds. Nearly 30% of Stemilt’s apple crop is grown and certified organic, with a focus on the varietals that consumers demand, including Honeycrisp, Pinata®, Pink Lady® to name just a few.

“With Stemilt’s diverse offering of consumer favorite organic apple varieties, and packages and merchandising programs that are proven to work, we can help you make every promotion a success and grow your organic apple category,” said Pepperl.

As Stemilt helps to evolve both the consumer basket and their palates, stay tuned for more on the company’s organic growth.

 Stemilt Growers