Oct. 20, 2017

Autumn Glory is Making its Annual Debut at PMA Fresh Summit

Autumn Glory® apple harvest is starting just in time to make its annual debut at PMA Fresh Summit 2017. Autumn Glory will be the center of attention for Superfresh Growers®. The Autumn Glory's unique caramel and cinnamon notes continue to make this proprietary apple a rising star for Superfresh Growers.

Superfresh Growers® will be joined at PMA Fresh Summit by Instagram Chef, Influencer, and Recipe Developer Christi Lazar of BazaarLazarr to show off two Autumn Glory forward dishes: Autumn Glory Apple Pad Thai Salad and Autumn Glory Apple Ham and Cheese Stack. The Autumn Glory Apple Pad Thai Salad is one of ten finalists in the PMA Sensory Experience Contest, held on Thursday. The salad is a plant-based meal. "Autumn Glory apples are spiralized and represent the "noodle base" with a sweet and savory Pad Thai blend of vegetables and dressing. We wanted to create something 100% produce based," explains Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Communications Manager. "The Sensory Experience is about the versatility of produce and creating something the whole family will enjoy. The Autumn Glory Pad Thai Salad excels on all the base criteria for the event. We are excited to share this recipe with everyone."

PMA Fresh Summit attendees can taste this plant-based delicious dish at the Fresh Ideas in Action Reception on Thursday, October 19th, at 4 pm. The dish will also be sampled at the Superfresh Gowers booth, #753, on Friday, October 20th.

Christi Lazar will be at the booth, discussing her passion for cooking and baking with Autumn Glory apples. Superfresh Growers chose two of her most popular Instagram-featured recipes. The second recipe, Autumn Glory Ham and Cheese Stack will be sampled on Saturday at the Superfresh Growers booth. "The recipe is one of my most simple recipes, yet I continue to receive engagement on Instagram months after its original post," describes Lazar. "We are excited to highlight the versatility of Autumn Glory with Instagram Chef Christi Lazar in the booth," explains Gipe-Stewart. "Christi has been a fan of Autumn Glory apples from the beginning and has been a huge resource to us in the recipe development and understanding of the complexities and versatility in the apple."

Autumn Glory harvest will begin mid-October and will be available November through April. "Last year marked a transition year for Autumn Glory," explains Mike Preacher, Director of Marketing. "We watched Autumn Glory demand grow dramatically, selling out two months earlier than planned. We are doubling our crop and expect to reach more consumers for a longer period."

The successful 2016-2017 Autumn Gory marketing campaign reached forty-five million consumers through earned media, blog posts, and social media. "It is not just any apple. It is Autumn Glory apple, a.k.a. the most delicious and juiciest apple I have ever had," writes blogger Aysegul Sanford of Foolproof Living. "They taste like candy with caramel and cinnamon undertones with every bite."

"We have found that consumers truly pick up on the caramel and cinnamon notes within Autumn Glory. We live in an era where everyone wants the next thing to share, whether it is to bring it to the next party or share it on Instagram. Consumers are looking for a new food experience that delivers on flavor and appearance to share, and Autumn Glory does just that," explains Gipe-Stewart.

"We are ramping up our marketing promotions for Autumn Glory this season," explains Preacher. "Social media has been an important part of Autumn Glory marketing, keeping a finger on the consumer pulse. We are also continuing to expand our blogger and influencer interaction. Bloggers create a sense of trust and excitement invaluable to driving sales to retail customers."

Washington State is experiencing smaller than usual apples, peaking one to two sizes smaller for the conventional crop and two to four sizes smaller for organic crop varieties. "We will see similar sizing for Autumn Glory. This will be a great year for bag promotions due to size. Autumn Glory pouch bags are a key part of our marketing program, and we have seen exponential growth in pouch bag sales, especially in the past few years," describes Preacher.

In addition to the Autumn Glory pouch bag line (available in organic and conventional), Superfresh Growers features their newly redesigned Superfresh Organic Pouch Bag apple and pear line. Two-pound pouch bags were up 52% and 3lb up 15% in the last four weeks (IRI data ending 8/6/17). Pouch bags continue to drive apple and pear sales due to their self-merchantability.

"Superfresh Organic Pouch Bags have been a big hit at trade shows this year. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Organic Pouch Bags ensure the correct ring each time, filling a retailer's need to ensure organic growth is registered at the purchasing level," explains Preacher.

"This is going to be a great year for Autumn Glory apples," describes Preacher. "We couldn't be more excited about how well the fruit is eating this season. We look forward to an extended season and to continue supporting retailers as Autumn Glory continues growing in distribution."