Stemilt Growers Readies Its Rushing Rivers® Pear Retail Program
- by Kayla Webb
WENATCHEE, WA - With how the season is already shaping up for Stemilt Growers’ Rushing Rivers® pears, I’d say that shoppers across the country will be rushing to stock up their carts with the autumnal treat, and soon! Senior Marketing Manager Brianna Shales pulled back the curtain on the winter pears currently coming off the trees—and in high grades and dessert-quality flavors I might add—and what opportunities lie ahead for retailers this fall. Here's what she had to say...
“Pear harvest is progressing nicely, and we will be wrapping up in the next 7-10 days,” said Shales. “Right now, winter varieties like d’Anjou, Red d’Anjou, and Bosc are coming off the trees in good availability with a lot of opportunity for retailers to move high volumes due to the great quality.”
Stemilt’s green and red d’Anjou pears go through the company’s Operation Flavor program, which, according to a press release, is a 360-degree commitment to setting a new standard for the flavor of pears. As part of this process, both d’Anjou and red d’Anjou will move through a 30-day cold treatment phase before being packed into a two-layer cross-ventilated box that undergoes a warming process. This gets the pears back up to shipping temperatures in Stemilt’s RipeRite™ TarpLess® ripening rooms. Following this process, the pears are then ready to be shipped.
“Stemilt no longer uses anti-ripening products on pears,” continued Shales. “In response to that move, we are finding other ways to ensure pears are of dessert-eating quality with a goal of ready-to-eat d’Anjou and red d’Anjou pears just 1-3 days after consumer purchase. One of those ways is using a vented euro box that is designed specifically for uniform ripening.”
This season, Stemilt is particularly excited to offer retailers beautifully ripened and sized green and red d’Anjou—with the latter boasting dessert-eating quality thanks to its slightly higher brix content. Shales noted that this variety’s coloring can help retailers create eye-catching displays in high-traffic areas with Rushing Rivers-branded boxes.
“Stemilt is committed to ensuring the retailer’s pear season is a success, and we have the fruit, packaging, and resources they need to make it happen,” said Shales. “We have plenty of signage options along with various packages, including our new Family Farm Bin that features Stemilt’s founding family, the Mathison’s.”
In addition to d’Anjou pears, Stemilt is also pushing the Bosc variety, which features a bronze coloring, a larger size, and a higher sugar content than past crops. The press release noted that while Bosc does not partake in the ripening process like d’Anjou pears do, the variety is packed in the same two-layer ventilated euro that will allow for natural ripening.
All three varieties are exactly what retailers are looking for this season, especially when running ads with line pricing and seizing opportunities to boost in-store messaging around and on displays. In the press release, Shales again highlighted the Family Farm bin, a high-graphic bin that can be easily paired with package options like Stemilt’s pear display bin or easy pallet display. Toolkits featuring videos, images, story ideas, and more can also be used by retailers to capitalize on in-store messaging via digital channels in big big ways.
“Building big eye-catching displays with lots of in-store messaging will first get the customer to check out the fruit,” concluded Shales. “What gets them coming back for more is that dessert-eating quality, and that’s what we aim for every day with our Rushing Rivers pears.”
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