Oct. 09, 2017

Organic Growth and Fruit Size Bring Pouch Bag Opportunity

For the 2017 apple and pear season, Superfresh Growers® anticipates a normal sized crop this year, with fruit one to two size smaller than last year. Sizing will allow for both bulk and bagged promotional opportunities. Superfresh Growers is also planning for their organic crop to double in many varieties, creating promotional opportunities for Superfresh Organic pouch bags. 

The cool temperatures during spring bloom slowed cell division, resulting in smaller fruit for both apples and pears. “Fruit will be down in size, but very clean,” describes Mike Preacher, Director of Marketing. “This presents a great opportunity to promote bags, which contributed 12% growth in pear category dollars last year, despite an overall decline in the pear category. IRI Fresh Look data also shows us that apple bags drove 83% of apples sales dollar growth last year.”

As bag sales continue to motivate the pear and apple categories, Superfresh Growers is expanding their organic and conventional pouch bag line up. Superfresh pouch bags are self-merchandising, and therefore easy for retailers to use. Standing upright, they call attention to themselves with useful product information and attractive graphics.

“The bags came into market earlier to this year, and we have received excellent feedback. At Organic Produce Summit in July, the retailer feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Organic pouch bags ensure the correct ring each time, and are filling a retailer need to ensure organic growth is registered at purchasing level,” explains Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Communication Manager. 

Consumers are equally sharing their appreciation for convenient on-the-go packaging. “Busy moms often write and call in, naming how small sized fruit in pouch bags is ideal for after school snacks and Saturday soccer breaks,” Gipe-Stewart continues. Pouch bags are driving apple and pear growth, and will continue to drive growth as pouch bags become available throughout the produce department.

Superfresh Growers is aggressively growing organic acreage to compete in a flourishing market. “We are continually hearing from our retail partners that they are excited for organic growth. At Organic Produce Summit, one of the main takeaways was that organic consumer demand is high, and farmers need to expand to keep up. We are consistently growing our organic acreage, and feel aligned to meet future organic demands,” describes Preacher.

“Organics are a main focus for us in the coming crop year.  We are expecting large growth in both organic pears and apples, doubling the volume of many organic varieties including Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Bosc, Honeycrisp, Gala, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, and of course, our signature Autumn Glory® apple. To grow with consumer demand, we are investing in higher color, high yield varieties, as well as transitioning many of our older orchards into high density organic orchards,” explains Preacher. 

Autumn Glory harvest will begin in late October, and will be available conventionally November through April, and organically November through February. “Last year marked a transition year for Autumn Glory,” Preacher explains. “We watched Autumn Glory demand grow dramatically, selling out two months earlier than planned.” Superfresh Growers is doubling their Autumn Glory volume this year to 200,000 boxes are selling it nationwide and internationally.