Chelan Fresh's Mac Riggan Discusses New Packaging and Exclusive Organic Varieties
CHELAN, WA - There’s something about the word exclusive that makes my ears perk up as a trade writer and as a consumer. That is why when I hopped on the phone with Mac Riggan, Marketing Director for Chelan Fresh, my attention was piqued as he described the grower’s Organic Produce Summit 2021 showcase, telling me about the new packaging and proprietary organic varieties that the company will be highlighting.
But, first, he explained why the event itself is so important for industry members to attend—other than stopping by Chelan’s booth, of course.
“I don't think anything beats a face-to-face meeting. I've been in this industry for a long time—before Zoom existed—and I think, when possible, in-person meetings are more productive, for everyone,” he says. “There’s nothing like sharing a meal with somebody and going through what they experience day-to-day so that when you go back to your office you understand how you can better serve their needs with what you do. Also, you get to see the new innovations and experience the taste of new fruit that you might be bringing to market.”
And some of that fruit buyers may be adding to their shelves includes Chelan’s portfolio of Cascade Crest Organics® that it will be highlighting at the event. This includes its Organic Rockit™ and Organic Sugarbee® apples, which are exclusive to Chelan. Additionally, the company will be showcasing its organic pears, touting solid supplies of Starkrimson, Bartlett, Bosc, d’Anjou, and red d'Anjou.
With back-to-school season approaching, Chelan’s Organic Rockit apples are a fantastic offering for parents to load up on to add to their kids’ lunch boxes or serve as a quick snack at home, making it a prime variety for buyers to add to their stores.
“Our Rockit apple is the perfect size for kids. It’s the right size and it’s got great shelf life at room temperature, so you don’t have to keep it cold all the time. It’s an amazing apple,” he explains. “And, the Rockit shuttle is now made from 80 percent rPET. That means instead of putting virgin plastic into the supply chain, we are repurposing existing plastic that consumers have already purchased and chose to recycle.”
As Mac tells me, one of the other exciting exclusives that Chelan has in store for OPS attendees is its eye-catching organic packaging.
“I know organic packaging is kind of an oxymoron because some people think it’s a no packaging category, but it’s quite the opposite. As retailers will tell you, packages for organic products prevent accidental charging of conventional prices for organic produce at the register. This reduces shrink and provides more accurate sales data,” Mac explains. “That is why we have embraced packaging and are excited to show it off at OPS.”
Finishing up our conversation, Mac leaves me with some parting advice that is simple, yet valuable for retailers to impart to their shoppers.
“Apples, whether conventional or organic, are fantastic pieces of fruit, and they do wonders for your immune system. So, eat them no matter what,” he adds.
You heard the man! Make sure to have apples on display, and for some unique varieties, stop by the Chelan booth #111 at OPS.