WENATCHEE, Wash. – Stemilt’s stone fruit season officially kicked off this week with its first run of Artisan Organics™ apricots. High anticipation for Stemilt’s stone fruit season coincides with the company’s World Famous cherry season making it a summer of endless flavor opportunities.
“This year’s stone fruit crop is full of opportunities for retailers,” explains Stemilt marketing director, Brianna Shales. “Lengthening the apricot season with our all-organic apricots will ensure retailers won’t skip a beat when it comes to delighting consumers with high quality stone fruit. Then, when the apricot season comes to a close, they can follow it up and delight consumers with our all-organic crop of peaches and nectarines.”
Apricots are available now and projected to continue through the middle of July. There is a plentiful amount of apricots size 72 or larger providing opportunity for bulk promotion. Shales continues on to say both apricot quality and flavor are impeccable this year.
“Although the availability window is narrow, Stemilt’s Artisan Organics™ apricot’s flavor and quality have consumers seeking out more,” states Shales. “When the season concludes, consumers will be thrilled to find our equally delicious peaches and nectarines taking their place.”
Stemilt Artisan Organics™ peaches and nectarines are projected to start around July 15, with the first peak promotion window starting the last week of July and into the first week of August. Also 100 percent certified organic, both Artisan Organics™ peaches and nectarines are full of flavor, a juicy bite and large sizing, 40 series or larger.
“Just like our apricots, our peaches and nectarines are grown in the southeast portion of Washington State by the Douglas Family, who have many decades of experience growing and harvesting organic stone fruit,” explains Shales. “The region is known for its dry, hot climate making it an ideal locale to grow organic stone fruit. Plus, the Douglas family has a keen eye for quality and flavor, waiting for the exact right moment to pick to ensure sugars are high and ripeness levels are perfect.”
Premium peach varieties retailers can expect this year include Sierra Rich, Zee Lady and O’Henry. Premium nectarine varieties include the Summer Flare series, Grand Bright, and Honeylicious. Retailers should plan ads for bulk promotion due to the large sizing, with some opportunity for a 2lb Lil Snappers® mesh-pouch bag option towards the first half of the season.
“With the larger sizing that is available, retailers can load either euros or volume fill with a small window in the last two weeks of July and the first week of August to also carry organic peaches and nectarines in the Lil Snappers® brand,” states Shales. “Lil Snappers® is a great vehicle for parents who are looking for healthy snack option for their kids or adults who prefer smaller sized fruit.”
Shales also states that retailers should take advantage of Stemilt’s premium peach and nectarine program, Top Pick™ during the stone fruit season. Top Pick™ only includes organic peaches and nectarines that come from the upper and top part of the tree which usually have the best color and flavor.
“The Top Pick™ program is a great way for retailers to take their stone fruit category to the next level,” states Shales. “The fruit is picked at the right ripeness that maximizes flavors and sugars, which eliminates the consumer’s confusion about how to pick out premium, high quality, flavorful peaches and nectarines.”
Regardless of what retailers decide, Shales says that they will have a successful season if they carry stone fruit from Stemilt.
“With our expanded volume of some key premium varieties, retailers will have plenty of opportunity to take their stone fruit category to new heights this summer,” explains Shales. “Not only will retailers be happy with the results, but consumers will be too, which is a win for all of us.”
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 through excellence 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.