Courtesy Stemilt GrowersStemilt Growers is promoting its Lil Snappers bagged fruit for children, which is available in conventional or organic. Two new varieties available in the Lil Snappers line this year are braeburn and fuji apples. Stemilt Growers is featuring Pinata apples and its Lil Snappers bagged fruit for children in new display shippers.
“January is our major release for Pinata, and we’re going to release thousands of sales bins promoting it,” said Roger Pepperl, marketing director for the Wenatchee, Wash.-based grower-shipper.
Stemilt plans to pack plenty of Pinata.
“The crop is growing, and we’re continuing to put the pedal down on it,” Pepperl said. “It’s selling faster and the orchards are getting more mature. We’re faced with a bigger crop in the next couple years and we’ve got to keep busy.”
Pinata comes in both conventional and organic.
Besides the sales bins, which come with quick-response codes and point-of-sale signage, Pinata comes in a Lil Snapper bag and a regular 3-pound poly bag.
The QR codes take shoppers to a mobile website on the variety. Pinata also has its own Facebook page, separate from the Stemilt page, that features video to help build a fan base.
Contests and giveaways will take place on Facebook, Pepperl said.
Stemilt also has an outreach to food bloggers.
More conventional publicity also is in the works, such as ads in Cooking Light and Eating-Well magazines.
“We’re doing some billboards for Pinata in the Midwest and East Coast in January,” Pepperl said. “Some will extend into February or March, but we’re hitting it hard in January.”
Typical retail prices for Pinata are $1.99-2.49 per pound. Stemilt gave the variety a soft launch in November, but basically it is sold from January to the end of May.
“The crop is extending every year,” Pepperl said. “We’d like to see that eventually be a November through June apple. Keeping up with demand keeps us from selling it longer. It’s a good problem to have.”
For Lil Snappers, the display bins will have a back-to-school theme.
“Fall is traditionally pencils and coats, but January is food for kids and Snappers ties in well with that, both conventional and organic,” Pepperl said. “We have a lot of retailers advertising and promoting it.”
The bin is a shorter version of the standard display-ready carton. Besides Pinata, gala, granny smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady, Stemilt Growers recently added braeburn and fuji for Lil Snappers. Five varieties are available in organic. The company also sells anjou pears under the label. The apples come in sizes 125 and 113 in stand-up, resealable bags.
Stemilt also is continuing its sponsorship of U.S. Water Polo, begun in late 2010. Another display bin shows team members in a pool, holding apples aloft.