WENATCHEE, Wash. – It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when Stemilt’s new crop Artisan Organics™ apples and pears are in peak season. To ensure retailers make the most of their organic apple and pear categories, Stemilt’s senior marketing manager, Brianna Shales, encourages retailers to plan bulk promotions on Stemilt’s Artisan Organics™ apples and pears to provide consumers a delightful eating experience.
“As we near the end of apple harvest in Washington, we are looking at great flavors, condition and a range of sizing on organic apples and pears. The shifting consumer behavior during COVID-19 has led to a surge in packaged apples and pears, but bulk is still the primary volume driver for the category and needs extra attention through promotion as we head into the late fall and winter months,” explains Shales. “
Bulk helps retailers sell per pound versus by the each, and when part of a robust promotion plan is a proven way to boost volumes and increase sales dollars. To support bulk organic sales, retailers need to set up multi-variety ads for both organic apples and pears, featuring three to five apple varieties and up to three pear varieties. Retailers who plan on big organic-focused promotions could feature additional varieties during a short timeframe.
“To push bulk movement, it is important that retailers carry premium varieties with great flavor,” states Shales. “And our fruit will do that. The organic category continues to grow and it is driven by millennials and younger generations who seek modern flavors the whole family can enjoy.”
Stemilt offers a wide range of organic apples, including Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Piñata®, Pink Lady®, and SweeTango® apples. Stemilt’s recent analysis of Nielsen scan data shows that organic apples make up 10 percent of retail sales on apples on average across the U.S. but best-in-class organic retailers skew higher, often in the 15 percent range.
“Organics are a dollar driver in the market and apples contribute to that share,” explains Shales. “Stemilt understands the importance of carrying organic varieties that produce great eating results, which is why we are so focused on flavor and quality. We carry the same philosophy with our Artisan Organics™ pears.”
Stemilt grows a wide variety of organic pears including Bartlett, Bosc, Concorde, d’Anjou, and Red d’Anjou. Shales suggests that retailers should run organic pears on promotion now while they’re in season.
“We’re a flavor house and we do all the right things to ensure flavor comes when eating our organic pears because consumers keep coming back for more,” explains Shales. “A great way to promote both organic bulk apples and pears is through our tote bag programs.”
The Farm + Famous Tote Bag program is a grab-and-go pack to help sell bulk apples. It’s a paper tote bag packed in a display-ready Euro with an earthy design. It can be instantly displayed at retail, while still meeting the consumer demand for sustainable packaging. Each Euro holds eight 4lb. bags that are made from 100% recyclable material. Retailers will use the PLU sticker on the fruit to ring up the bag.
“The Farm + Famous Tote Bag reduces the need for handling at retail which helps the consumer feeling comfortable with their purchase,” explains Shales. “For pears, we offer the same option, just in our random weight plastic tote bag, which weighs around 4lbs. Both tote bag pack options satisfy the need for convenience without sacrificing quality.”
With store trip frequency down and convenient grab-and-go packed options increasing, retailers should use the various vehicles Stemilt offers to boost their organic category and delight their consumers.
“When retailers carry Stemilt’s Artisan Organics™ apples and pears, all they need to do is set up an eye-catching display that consumers just can’t resist,” explains Shales. “The quality and flavor do the rest.”
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.