Northwest Pears business updates - The Packer

Northwest Pears business updates

08/22/2014 10:37:00 AM
Tom Karst

Borton & Sons expects good crop

Pear volume for Borton & Sons is expected about 500,000 cartons, which will be down slightly from 2013 shipments, said Sky Johnson, salesman. The Yakima, Wash., company is working on new auxillary displays for apples and pears.

“Pear movement has been great this year, and we’re seeing the complementary items of apples and pears moving together,” he said. “It should be a really good pear season.”

 

Domex Superfresh volume increases

Production from Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash., will account for about 15% of the pear and apple crops in the Northwest this year, said Loren Queen, marketing and communications manager. Quality of the fruit has been tremendous, Queen said, with perfect growing weather. Queen said volume of organic apples and pears will be up significantly for Superfresh, accounting for about 10% of the company’s volume.

Queen said Superfresh will have Sesame Street promotion materials for apples and pears by Oct. 1, with graphics on a variety of consumer packaging and materials available to retailers.

The company plans a variety of social media promotions this year, with a photo sweepstakes contest up first for apples in September and another planned for pears around the holidays.

 

Chelan Fresh sticks with Fuel to Play 60

Chelan Fresh Marketing expects to move about 1.7 million cartons of pears this season, said Mac Riggan, director of marketing for the Chelan, Wash.-based company.

Riggan said the company has promotions relating to Fuel to Play 60, which is September through February. The program, is in 73,000 schools with 11.5 million students participating. The fruit will be labeled with Fuel to Play 60 logos on cartons and packaging, and retailers will display signs.

Chelan won’t be using Disney characters in 2014-15, he said, in what he called a mutual decision with Disney.

Riggan said that while the jury may still be out on character marketing, Chelan Fresh is committed to capturing demand from younger consumers.

“We rather develop the tastes of the young rather than change the taste of the old,” he said.

Riggan said Chelan Fresh is pushing its pear preconditioning program.

Two years after Chelan Fresh began its in-house organic program, Riggan said he expects volume of apples and pears to grow by about 30% this year.

“Consumers seem to be rewarding organic growers, and (demand) doesn’t seem to be leveling off,” he siad.


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