TARRYTOWN, NY – As the 2021 import table grape season gets underway, Jac. Vandenberg is bringing fresh excitement into the grape category with the introduction of its SUNRAYS® branded grapes. The first containers of SUNRAYS® grapes arrived this past weekend into Philadelphia from Peru.
Since the beginning of the year, Jac. Vandenberg has been developing and preparing for the introduction of its SUNRAYS® brand into the grape category. The SUNRAYS® brand, recognized not only for its premium quality but also for its social and environmental missions, was launched in 2017 for the company’s mandarin oranges. Today, SUNRAYS® expands its light and impact into the grape category bringing with it a feeling of excitement and hope.
“When we began planning for this expansion in January, we had no idea that a pandemic was going to hit. But here we are and to our team’s great credit, in spite of all the challenges of 2020, we have been able to develop a really amazing addition for the American and Canadian grape category,” said John Paap, brand manager of Jac. Vandenberg, Inc. “It’s really quite fitting that out of the challenges and dark times of 2020 that SUNRAYS® is making its entry into the grape category.”
The eye-catching, “feel good”, SUNRAYS® brand is truly a unique brand within the fresh produce category. Steeped heavily in its missions, SUNRAYS® is focused on building a brighter future for children and the planet. Through its partnership with Save the Children® and commitment to innovative sustainable packaging and farming practices, the SUNRAYS® brand really does stand up to their tagline as a Snack With Impact®. Since 2017, over $225,000 has been donated to Save the Children significantly transforming the lives of children across the United States and around the world. At the same time, various sustainable packaging solutions have been introduced including the eco-box in 2019 and the bio-bag just this past summer, both of which reduce plastic consumption and greenhouse emissions.
Jac. Vandenberg has partnered with select, premium grape growers in Peru, Chile and Mexico to source and pack its SUNRAYS® grapes giving retailers and consumers a consistent grape brand they can rely on from November through July. Strict quality guidelines have been established including brix, sizing, and overall flavor which will be overseen by Vandenberg appointed quality control teams at origin. More than 90% of the grapes packed into the SUNRAYS® brand will be proprietary varieties such as Sweet Globes, Sweet Celebration, Jacks Salute, Timco, Allison, and Sweet Favors.
“Over the last 75 years, we have been fortunate as a company to have established amazing relationships with many top, quality grape growers around the world. In that time, we have learned a lot from those relationships and how to provide our retail partners with the very highest quality grapes. The introduction of SUNRAYS® grapes is a testament to those quality relationships. SUNRAYS® grapes represent the very best of what we have to offer,” says Paap.
In addition to offering a premium grape brand that is available for nine consecutive months, that communicates relatable and widely supported social and environmental missions, the brand also provides retailers with tools for success. Retailers can register on the SUNRAYS® website (www.sunraysfruits.com) for access to exclusive crop updates providing details on grower feedback and pictures from the farm, volume outlook, market trends, best weeks to promote and more. “By providing this detailed, intimate level of information, we are giving all the tools possible to our retail partners so they can be as successful as they possibly can when it comes to planning, marketing and understanding the product,” says Paap. “It all comes down to making sure everyone is successful and happy from the retailer all the way back to the grower.”
While there is a lot of darkness in the world today, SUNRAYS® is certainly looking to make the light shine through and the grape category appears to be the place to find that light.
For more information on the SUNRAYS® product line, please visit sunraysfruits.com or follow SUNRAYS® on Instagram.