WENATCHEE, Wash. – Producing Rushing Rivers® pears is no easy feat. From perfecting growing practices to flawless ripening and packing techniques, Stemilt’s teams have taken an oath to improving the pear category through their internal program, Operation Flavor, a 360 degree commitment to setting a new standard for the flavor of pears. Senior marketing manager, Brianna Shales, explains how Stemilt’s pledge to improving the pear category is the difference maker retailers see today.
“Stemilt was one of the first to identify the category was stagnant years ago and created Operation Flavor in response to the declining category,” explains Shales. “As part of the Operation Flavor promise, we eliminated anti-ripening agents and elevated our ripening program and team whose mission is produce pears that delight consumers.”
While all Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers® pears fall under the Operation Flavor program, Stemilt has a dedicated d’Anjou and red d’Anjou ripening team who focuses their efforts on one program specifically: RipeRite™, the ready-to-eat pear ripening program. This team is made of up 20 of individuals with various roles and responsibilities, including research and development (R&D) members, controlled atmosphere storage operators to Quality Assurance specialists. Each individual is responsible for ensuring the ripening process is working and producing results.
“This team is dedicated to providing consumers with a pear that is sweet, juicy and perfectly ripe,” explains Shales. “Our d’Anjou and red d’Anjou pears benefit from ThermalTech™ ripening rooms and a prescriptive ripening protocol, which helps retailers deliver consistency and increase turns when they source from Stemilt.”
Pears are an impulse purchase, so it is crucial retailers are presenting pears in a manner that appeal to consumers current shopping habits. One bag option that is the best of both the bulk and bag worlds is Stemilt’s random-weight tote bag that can carry both conventional and organic pears. These random-weight tote bags should be placed in store in high traffic areas or featured online as premium, in-season produce pick that are available for both curbside pick-up and delivery.
“Currently, bagged pears make up nearly 20 percent of pear sales,” states Shales. “Consumer’s feel confident buying packaged pears as they reduce handling at retail, and they are convenient to pick up and go. These random weight tote bags not only fit people’s store trip frequency, they help drive up the purchase size and retailers can ring them up as a per pound item.”
Shales also suggests that retailers should take advantage of a multi-variety ad during the upcoming holiday season. December is National Pear Month and featuring a colorful line up of Bosc, d’Anjou and red d’Anjou pears will have consumers doing a double take at bulk displays.
“Retailer should take advantage of the peak of pear season and offer a fun lineup of conventional and organic bulk pears, especially while pear awareness is heightened,” states Shales. “With our Operation Flavor promise in place, Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers® pears are the perfect category booster as they delight consumers with their buttery-smooth texture and juicy bite and will ultimately lead to repeat purchases.”
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.