WENATCHEE, Wash. – Amid a smaller national apple crop, Cosmic Crisp® apples will launch as a year-round variety on December 1 as it grows in volume, especially in organics. Stemilt marketing director, Brianna Shales, shares how Cosmic Crisp® is poised for promotion this season and how retailers can ensure organic ring at checkout with Stemilt’s EZ Band.
“We have a lighter apple crop in Washington State this year, so it’s exciting to have a growing variety like Cosmic Crisp® that has superior flavors and traits,” says Shales. “Many Cosmic Crisp® orchards are coming into production, including organic production, this year. We will increase our organic supply by about 120% and 77% for conventional.”
After the crop launches on December 1, Cosmic Crisp® will be a year-round variety offering retailers more opportunity in the apple category. Organic Cosmic Crisp® will also have a longer season than prior years following the launch. There’s big concern at retail to catch organic ring, especially with the rise of self-checkout stations. Stemilt’s new sustainable package, the EZ Band, can help ensure the organic premium.
“It’s exciting to hit the threshold of supplying Cosmic Crisp® all year long here on out,” says Shales. “The EZ Band is being introduced for conventional and organic large-sized Cosmic Crisp® apples this year and can help provide a sustainable packaging solution to drive sales of Cosmic Crisp®. It’s a UPC item that’s sold off the count which drives purchase size to ensure you catch organic ring and doesn’t shrink the item.”
Pent up demand for the Cosmic Crisp® crop from both retailers and consumers has the apple poised for promotions this season and can now become a part of the everyday apple mix. Cosmic Crisp® is going to break into the top 10 apples this year due to volume, but consumers still need to be educated on the apple through regular promotions.
“During a crop that has tighter volumes on key varieties, now is an especially good time to highlight the traits of Cosmic Crisp®,” says Shales. “Build those big bulk fruit displays with Cosmic Crisp®’s boxes and use the EZ Band bags to offer options for the grab-and-go shopper. We’re here to help set up promotions and connect retailers with resources for the brand because we’re excited for the success of the variety as well.”
The Stemilt difference for Cosmic Crisp® leads on a flavor first promise to learn from past experiences to really put this apple in a good position to delight consumers. With proper storage techniques for the best quality possible, Cosmic Crisp® can be enjoyed by consumers all year long.
“Stemilt has been at this for a long time to ensure that quality comes first with this fruit, that’s the only way we we’re going to drive demand and a good eating experience,” says Shales. “We’ve developed some good practices for harvesting, storing, and packing the fruit, so we feel really confident in the quality.”
Stemilt is a family-owned grower, packer, and shipper of tree fruit. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt’s mission is to cultivate people and delight consumers with its World Famous Fruits. Stemilt is a leader in sweet cherries and organic tree fruits, and a key supplier of apples and pears. The company stewards an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business through its Responsible Choice® program, which has been in place since 1989. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com.