WENATCHEE, WA – How do retailers and consumers know they are eating a Stemilt Rushing Rivers® pear? It’s simple – it’s ready to eat and it has dessert flavor quality. As one of the nation’s leading pear growers, Stemilt dedicates time and effort to ensure their pears offer the consumer a delightful eating experience. From growing in the best locales to having the most experienced pear ripening specialists in the industry, Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers® d’Anjou and Red d’Anjou pears are setting a new standard thanks to the company’s #1 pear ripening program, RipeRite™.
“Our Rushing Rivers® d’Anjou and Red d’Anjou pears will be taking over retailer’s shelves later this season and we are excited to share their excellent quality and amazing flavor,” explains Brianna Shales, Stemilt’s senior marketing manager. “That’s because our RipeRite™ program is the differentiation point between adequate pears and amazing ones.”
Shales contributes a lot of the success to the experienced team that runs the RipeRite™ program at Stemilt. Operating as a 20-person crew, there are various roles and responsibilities, including research and development (R&D) members, controlled atmosphere storage operators to Quality Assurance specialists, and each individual is responsible for ensuring the ripening process is working and producing results.
“This team is dedicated to providing consumers with a delightful eating experience, meaning every pear is sweet, juicy and perfectly ripe just a few days after purchase,” explains Shales. “Our pears benefit from ThermalTech ripening rooms and a prescriptive ripening protocol, which helps retailers deliver consistency and increase turns when they source from Stemilt.”
All of Stemilt’s d’Anjou and Red d’Anjou pears move through the RipeRite® program. It is a multi-step process that not only increases lift and reduces shrink for the retailer, but also increases flavor enzymes and softens the fruit’s flesh for a consistent dessert eating experience that consumers expect.
“Our teams know the goal of the RipeRite™ program and know the importance of setting the bar high for the pear category,” explains Shales. “This knowledge throughout various levels of the organization has allowed us to work in unison. It’s the reason behind our success.”
All d’Anjou and Red d’Anjou pears are packed in uniquely designed ventilated Euro or DRC cartons that sit in one of Stemilt’s 11 controlled atmosphere storage rooms, which are specifically designed for pear ripening. Once the pears hit optimal pressures, d’Anjou pears will maintain those pressures as along as the fruit is refrigerated. Once the pears are removed from refrigeration, the pears will start to ripen. The ultimate goal is to deliver a pear that is flavorful and ready to eat a few days after purchase.
Shales believes that the combined efforts of so many within Stemilt and their constant efforts to ensure the pear category survives is the reason why Stemilt is setting the bar for pear standards today.
“Stemilt recognized that the pear category was struggling and knew something had to change,” explained Shales. “Our teams took the mission seriously and set out to change it. We now see the results of that change and we are seeing happy pear consumers all over the country.”
Shales also credit’s Stemilt’s dedicated R&D team, who have worked tirelessly to perfect the ripening process. Their dedication allowed Stemilt to be the first to eliminate anti-ripening agents in 2018.
“When we were applying anti-ripening agents, they were inhibiting the pear’s ability to ripen, which denied the consumer of that flavorful experience we strive for,” says Shales. “Since we eliminated those agents, we have seen a huge increase in pear sales as well as great feedback from both retailers and consumers.”
Stemilt’s overall experience and capacity to grow and ripen d’Anjou and Red d’Anjou pears is helping the pear category make strides with shoppers.
“From start to finish, we are focusing on delivering flavor and quality,” says Shales. “And our team’s experience, dedication and overall drive to have the best pear ripening program is paying off. Consumers are loving pears again and it all starts with a bite of a Stemilt Rushing Rivers® pear.”
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.