Stemilt hopes bags will boost organic cherry sales

06/08/2004 12:00:00 AM
Terry Scruton


Consumers can open and reseal the 1.5-pound bags of cherries offered by Stemilt Growers Inc.

(June 8) WENATCHEE, Wash. — Stemilt Growers Inc. has unveiled a new bag for its organic cherries this season.

The 1.5-pound bags feature peel-and-seal technology that allows consumers to reseal the bag for multiple uses. Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt, said the 1.5-pound size will allow retailers to make more money on random weight purchases.

“The average purchase on conventional cherries is somewhere between 1.75 and 2 pounds,” he said. “But with organics being a larger cost, this tends to be lower. The 1.5-pound bag allows retailers to sell organic cherries at random weight while still increasing the pickup beyond the 1-pound that clamshells typically sell.”

Pepperl said Stemilt is planning to pack and ship 65,000 boxes of organic cherries this year, up from 55,000 the year before. About 80% of those will be consumer packs. Of those, Pepperl said roughly half will be shipped in the new bags, while the rest will be shipped in clamshells.
In addition to consumer convenience, Pepperl said the bags also feature graphics to allow cashiers to easily identify the bags as organic.
Pepperl said the bags also are good for the quality of the product.

“They hold moisture better around the stems,” he said. “It keeps the product fresher longer.”

The bags are shipped in a 40- by 60-inch Euro carton, with 12 to a case, or about 18 pounds of fruit per carton. Pepperl said the carton is display ready.



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