Superfresh Growers® Catherine Gipe-Stewart Talks Latest Focuses in Lead-Up to Southern Exposure 2020
YAKIMA, WA - The Southeast Produce Council (SEPC) Southern Exposure is practically here, and in produce time it has passed. So, if you don’t yet have your floor plan strategy, sit back and enjoy what we have in store for you. Kicking off the decade with a fire hot enough to expect some roasted apples from, I’m assured that Superfresh Growers® will have plenty to share with any who visit booth #303.
“We have a number of exciting projects in the works. We are building our Superfresh Organics™ brand, and you will see our new logo on our booth backdrop. We are doing a slow roll-out of the brand with new packaging coming in the fall,” Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Communications Manager, tells me. “We are also working on sustainable packaging options and currently in researching and trialing mode. The trials are going well and we will have more to share as we continue to gather more data and understanding of what works best to protect fruit quality and be environmentally friendly.”
As retailers get into planning for the year to come, Superfresh is looking back at the success of the Autumn Glory® apple while preparing for the summer program that will be here before we can say “fruit salad.”
“We will be highlighting our summer cherries, blueberries, and kiwi berries,” she shares. “This is our second year partnering with Norris Farms blueberries and kiwi berries, grown out of the Umpqua River Valley of Southern Oregon. Our blueberry fields are the most southern in Oregon, and have the longest growing season in the Pacific Northwest.”
Superfresh’s kiwi berries are smaller than their larger cousins, the kiwifruit. An increasing trend on foodie favorites like Instagram, Cat says they are popular for charcuterie boards and fruit salad bowls.
The Autumn Glory season is going strong, as is its demand.
“This is the only apple with continued triple-digit year-over-year growth, which we contribute to retailers bringing it back year after year,” Cat details, adding that consumers are asking for the variety by name and expecting to see it on produce shelves.
Not only does Superfresh have a key apple ready for lunch boxes and beyond, now it offers the recently-launched Superfresh Kids™ pouch bag program—convenient-sized bags with a family-friendly dollar ring.
“Each bag features engaging graphics and a ‘spot-the-difference’ game on the back. The Superfresh Kids program is designed to create shelf uniformity, while also capturing the lunch-box sales share with kid-sized fruit. We will be showing them off in the booth, so make sure to come by to check them out,” Cat promises.
In speaking on the show itself, her enthusiasm is contagious as we look to the weeks ahead.
“SEPC’s Southern Exposure is one of the best shows of the year, with excellent retailer attendance and opportunities for quality intimate interactions with our customers and the produce industry. The SEPC has created key moments within the show to help develop our network and nurture the relationships we have,” Cat explains of the industry event.
These remaining weeks are sure to fly by as we get ready to kick off the 2020 show season. See you all in the Sunshine State!