Pears USA Releases 2020-21 Northwest Fresh Pear Crop Estimate
PORTLAND, OR - The 2020-21 fresh pear crop for Washington and Oregon is looking to be a promotional one, as Pear Bureau Northwest (PBNW) reports producers across the region are anticipating volumes slightly above last season.
“Growers throughout Washington and Oregon are reporting beautiful fruit and good sizing,” stated Kevin Moffitt, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are expecting a very promotable crop and with imports down by one third and a smaller California crop, the supply chain is open as Northwest pears enter the market. Shippers are reporting solid demand for pears while retailers are also showing strong interest in the category. We are excited to promote the delicious flavor and quality eating experience of fresh pears through innovative promotions.”
This year's estimates for fresh pear harvest are currently projected at 16.6 million standard box equivalents, or approximately 366,000 tons.
To help move product, the bureau released a breakdown of both variety outlooks and promotions for both national and international markets.
“The Northwest pear season is starting off in a great place this year, and we are prepared for retailers to switch to Northwest pears earlier than ever before,” said Regional Marketing Manager Bob Catinella. “We have a strong promotion plan in place this season, including an early push for Bartlett and Starkrimson, omnichannel collaborations with California Walnuts and Cabot Cheese, and more. As shoppers continue to prepare nutritious meals at home, we are in a solid position to have an excellent season at retail.”
Harvest highlights of the report included:
- Picking has begun for early varieties like Starkrimson and Bartlett in all regions
- Picking of Green and Red Anjou and Bosc over the next two weeks of August
- Picking of specialty pears like Comice, Seckel, Forelle, and Concorde pears near the end of August and into the first week of September
Numbers-wise, four leading varieties make up 96 percent of the Northwest crop, according to a press release, with unique and marketable varieties making up the remaining crop.
- 8.6 million standard boxes of Green Anjou pears, more than 51 percent of the total crop
- 4.2 million boxes of Green Bartlett pears at 25 percent of the crop
- 2.3 million boxes of Bosc for 14 percent of the crop
- Just under 1 million Red Anjou pears at 5.5 percent of the total harvest
- 1.96 million standard boxes of organic pears estimated
- More than 43,000 tons in organic, or nearly 12 percent of the total Northwest crop
- Green Anjou and Bartlett combine for 74 percent of the organic crop
- Bosc and Red Anjou make up 14 percent and 6 percent of the organic crop, respectively
“It is hard to beat the flavor of a sweet ripe pear and the industry is passionate about providing consumers with the best possible eating experience,” stated Moffitt. “To enhance flavor and have consistently ripe fruit at retail, more packing houses are offering conditioned pears this season.”
Moffit added that, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and changing shopping habits of consumers, the bureau has shifted more resources to innovative digital programs. To dive into both national and international promotion strategies, click here.
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