WENATCHEE, Wash. – It’s time to get those napkins out because Stemilt’s Artisan Organics™ peaches and nectarines are now in season. Stemilt’s 100 percent certified organic peaches and nectarines made their grand debut late last week, with good sizing and spectacular color. Although weather patterns have been unusual for this time of year, Brianna Shales, Stemilt marketing director, feels it benefited the stone fruit crop.
“Our stone fruit managed the heat well which resulted in some exceptionally high sugar levels for these early season varieties,” explains Shales. “The color is also very vibrant, so it shines right off the tree. Plus, there is a range of sizing available. It’s going to be a good year for stone fruit.”
Early peach varieties include Sierra Rich, Zee Lady, and August Lady while the Summer Flare series make up the early nectarine varieties. Retailers will have the opportunity for peach and nectarine bulk and bag promotions in the last two weeks of July and first week of August. Other peak promotion times for peaches include mid-August and early September. For organic nectarines, there will be another peak in late August into early September.
“There will be plenty of opportunity to boost your stone fruit category for the remainder of the summer,” states Shales. “However, it is important you start early and opt for bags at the start when smaller fruit is available, and then follow it up with big, beautiful jumbo organic peaches and nectarines in the latter half of the season.”
For bags, peaches and nectarines are available in the popular 2lb. organic Lil Snappers® pouch bag or the Artisan Organics™ grab-and-go pouch bag, which is made from 100 percent recyclable material.
“The grab-and-go tote serves as a great vehicle to sell bulk sizes with limited contact,” says Shales. “It encourages consumers to purchase more fruit, making it a great way to move volume for a good price. Plus, it’s easy to check out as the cashier will use the PLU sticker on the fruit to ring up the bag.”
Retailers can also turn to traditional bulk purchasing methods for their peach and nectarine needs where large jumbo sizing will be plentiful. Both can be packed in a 1-layer euro, a 2-layer metric or euro, or a volume fill. Stemilt’s premium organic peach and nectarine program, Top Pick™ is also available.
“Top Pick™ includes fruit that comes from the top and upper parts of the tree, which typically have the best colors and flavors,” explains Shales. “Because the program only offers the very best fruit, it removes the guessing game for the consumer and they can purchase stone fruit confidently.”
Top Pick™ is packed in 1-layer panta pack that reserves only the highest quality fruit with high sugar (brix) levels and World Famous flavor. The design of the program is bold and bright making it stand out at retail and the fruit’s quality and flavor is what keeps the consumer coming back for more.
“As a premium program, Top Pick™ will delight consumers as well as give retailers the opportunity to showcase some of the best summer fruit available,” explains Shales. “All of our stone fruit is grown in a region that is ideal for growing organics.”
Stemilt partners with the Douglas Family, who is located in Pasco, Washington. This region, which is settled in the southeastern corner of the state, is a great locale to grow organics due to the dry climate, hot days and lack of fog and moisture. The Douglas family are experienced stone fruit growers, farming in the region for many decades and perfecting growing practices.
“The Douglas Family is methodical in their growing habits, waiting until sugar levels and ripeness are just right before they harvest,” explains Shales. “If fruit isn’t meeting their standards, they will come back and pick an additional one or two times if the fruit needs more time on the tree. Their patience pays off because Stemilt’s Artisan Organics™ stone fruit is exactly what your category needs to thrive.”
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.