Wenatchee, WA: 2023 has embarked full-force and CMI Orchards is rising to the challenge.
Over the last decade, the apple category has evolved to sate a growing appetite for organics. Consumers crave new and exciting flavors; CMI feeds that hunger with a fourth tier of selling power devoted to high-flavor, branded organics available in one place. This is the perfect time to capitalize on that hunger and trade shoppers up, deliver incremental sales for the apple category, and give shoppers organic options that satiates their desire to eat well.
To meet rising demands for high-flavor organics, CMI invested in expanding varietal assortment and volume, adding new partnerships to boost supply. Because branded organics show strong performance already, CMI recognized a need to cultivate the option for year-round availability by dedicating more acreage to these spectacular-tasting fruits.
According to Danelle Huber, Senior Marketing Manager at CMI Orchards, “At the time of writing, the latest 52-week period ending 12/31/22 Nielsen data shows high-flavor, branded apple organic category volume is up 7.5% compared to the same time period last year.” Referencing Nielson scan data, Huber added, “Specialty brands such as Envy™, Cosmic Crisp®, Ambrosia Gold®, SugarBee®, and Kanzi® show significant increases in volume.”
“This tells us that while we do see a decrease in volume across the entire produce department, with shoppers tending to stick with pantry staples and cutting back on the “luxury” of fresh produce, the hunger for these high-flavor, branded organics is only growing,” Danelle added.
Huber reports that these numbers remain highly competitive in the apple market despite outside influences, like inflation, impacting the produce department overall. “Time after time, shoppers prove that there will always be a place for the best-tasting, freshest fruit on the shelf,” she said.
“Offering a diverse selection of fruit is paramount to ensuring there’s an apple for every shopper’s taste preferences,” explains Rochelle Bohm, Vice President of Marketing. “Our company recently entered into some fantastic new partnerships with growers which bolstered our manifest, allowing CMI to deliver the most exciting brands and core apples under one umbrella.”
Bohm explained that CMI strives to stand out to their customers as the “easy button” and operates as a one-stop-shop to streamline the process every step of the way. “Exploring and developing new ways that consumers are buying and interacting with produce is something CMI is passionate about. From meal kit programs to providing digital assets and toolkits for retailers to supplement and enhance their own content, CMI Orchards is well-equipped to continue expanding into the omnichannel area,” she said. “Combining competitive branded organic volume and omnichannel marketing capabilities ensure that there’s more bang for your buck with campaigns that are sustainable and irresistible.”
“CMI endeavors to develop packaging solutions that put the power in the hands of the shoppers with high level educational information accessible through QR codes. The projects we advance provide real environmental benefits; they’re not just smoke and mirrors or greenwashing. We go all out to be a resource that retailers can rely on to investigate constructive packaging options or marketing strategies with integrity,” continues Rochelle. “Programs like Relax® or Flavogram® are just two of our initiatives that make CMI Orchards stand-out among our competitors while servicing the entire range of retailer needs with a full suite of high flavor specialty brands and varieties.”
About CMI Orchards
CMI Orchards is one of Washington State’s largest growers, shippers and packers of premium quality apples, pears, cherries, apricots and organics. Based in Wenatchee, WA, CMI Orchards delivers outstanding fruit across the U.S.A. and exports to over 60 countries worldwide.