Washington Apple: business updates

09/09/2013 09:55:00 AM
Tom Karst

Chelan Fresh plans cross-promotions

Chelan Fresh Marketing apple volume is expected to increase slightly, said Mac Riggan, director of marketing with Chelan, Wash.-based Chelan Fresh Marketing, with about 12 million cartons expected for 2013-14. Honeycrisp volume — grown in Brewster and Chelan regions — could approach 500,000 boxes this year, Riggan said.

Chelan Fresh will put 2.4 million Jif To Go tags on bags, Riggan, said.

“That will start in mid-August and go October, offering shoppers 55 cents off any Jif To Go peanut butter product when they buy our apples,” Riggan said.

Riggan said Chlean Fresh is also considering a cross-promotion with a caramel apple wrap company in October. That promotion would have a display bin featuring Chelan Fresh apples with a bin promoting the caramel apple wrap.

“The store could merchandise apples and apple wrap together,” he said.

Chelan Fresh also plans to run a Disney brand promotion that is expected to include a dollar off for a movie ticket.

Chelan Fresh is working on a 3-pound pouch bag for apples this year as a test for certain retailers.

Chelan Fresh has two proprietary varieties it is actively growing in its test orchard, and Riggan said those may be available commercially in about three years. The varieties will be sampled at the Produce Marketing Association expo Oct. 18-20 in New Orleans and in limited volume to retailers this year.

Superfresh Growers increases Honeycrisps

Domex Superfresh Growers expects to market about 15 million cartons of apples in 2013-14, said Howard Nager, vice president of marketing for Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash. That accounts for close to 10% of the state’s crop. About 8% of the firm’s apples are organic, Nager said.

Superfresh plans to double its volume of Honeycrisp this year, Nager said.

Autumn Glory, a Superfresh proprietary variety, is also expected to double its output from last year and find volume in the 30,000-carton range. Fresh packout could reach 200,000 cartons within the next five years, Nager said.

Autumn Glory harvest will begin in mid-October. About half of the offerings of the Autumn Glory will be organic within five years, Nager said.

Loren Queen, marketing and communications manager, said the firm is running a promotion on Instagram with a focus on consumers eating apples, pears cherries.

The company is also doing a Facebook promotion with retail produce managers in which they submit pictures of their apple displays, with a winner selected each month to receive a gift card.Superfresh has worked with MJR Creative on its recently revamped website. The consumer-oriented website offers the information on promotions and features links to grower stories and videos.


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