SweeTango® Boosts Revenue with Fall Sales Wave; Several Growers From The Next Big Thing Cooperative Comment
SWEDESBORO, NJ - Retailers carrying the SweeTango® apple are gearing up for an impressive category boost as harvest is in full swing just in time for the variety’s impending fall sales wave. As this delicious apple makes it to store shelves, growers with Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative (NBT) are encouraging grocers to stock up and capitalize on this unique opportunity.
“Our working marketing theme this year is ‘big’—big crunch, big taste, big support,” said the cooperative’s Executive Director, Jennifer Parkhill. “We feel good about our product and marketing mix and how that fits with what retailers are doing. Good luck keeping them on shelves this year!”
The grower cooperative is orchestrating a “spoke-and-wheel approach” with sales desks to alert consumers that SweeTangos are back, while also generating awareness amongst potential new SweeTango fans.
“SweeTango was the top-selling club apple from late September through the end of October last fall, in both dollars and volume sold—by far,” said Stemilt’s Marketing Director, Brianna Shales. “So this year, retailers won’t want to wait to get in on the action.”
As Scott Swindeman points out, the chance to drive apple sales with the SweeTango variety lasts all throughout the spring season.
“Last season, our fans clamored for SweeTangos well into the spring. Retailers who kept this apple on their shelves kept on making money,” stated Swindeman, the Managing Owner of Applewood Fresh.
With the season already off to a fast start, Scotian Gold’s Director of Sales Dennis MacPherson has an extremely optimistic outlook on the upcoming season.
“This year has been the quickest we’ve gotten out of the gates, ever. We couldn’t get trucks on the road fast enough to fill demand,” he said. “This is by far the best apple on the shelf, and we are beyond excited to get started again—and so are all our fans out there.”
Quality for the fruit is outstanding and the color is vibrant, with the crop overcoming localized weather challenges to deliver the apple’s trademark crunch and flavor, as pointed out by Swindeman.
“Mother Nature presented us with a few challenges, but for every curve ball thrown, we’re making it work, delivering quality fruit to consumers,” said Angela Sommers, Marketing Director with BelleHarvest Sales.
Shales also pointed out the challenges posed by the weather. “It’s incredible how they weathered through our heat out West,” she explained.
Austin Fowler, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Fowler Farms, echoed these sentiments.
“We’re getting that nice SweeTango background that is indicative of high sugars,” said Fowler, who reported the Eastern region expects to have more fruit this season. “I’ve missed that SweeTango fracture, that eating experience. I eat my apple a day, but when SweeTangos are here, it’s more like five a day—I’m eating them all day.”
As explained in a press release, SweeTango sales desks are prepared to help retailers capitalize on the new season’s sales opportunities as pandemic shopping and eating continues, offering new marketing tools for in-store and online use to urge consumers to purchase. The brand and its sales desks are coordinating a B2C strategy across North America, with unified consumer-facing messaging to draw in both long-time fans and new consumers.
“At retail, we’ve re-energized our branding and streamlined messaging across all our sales desks. For the marketplace, we’re concentrating on direct-to-consumer channels, both digital and in-person,” stated John Cushing, Vice President of Sales with New York Apple Sales.
MacPherson doubled down on the statement, saying, “Our marketing campaign is as aggressive as the crunch of this amazing apple."
To support retailers in their efforts to boost the apple category, the cooperative unveiled new point-of-sale materials with a refreshed contemporary design and an eye-catching display bin. SweeTango will be offered in a range of options, including bulk, 2 and 3 lb pouches and totes, and retailers can download SweeTango-branded sales tools through their sales desk’s web portal.
“SweeTango has a lot of super fans, people look to these voices and they can impact purchasing. They are spreading the message for us. We know when we can transition consumers to a superior apple, they will come back for it time after time,” added Sommers.
The cooperative is also running online video ads with family-friendly stories injecting SweeTangos into popular moments in history, as well as a national radio and streaming audio campaign is running this fall, with 6.5 million impressions planned across all U.S. regions. NBT is also partnering with national influencers including The Produce Moms, David Leite and Emily Laurae.
“SweeTango is the best proprietary variety out there early in the season, it has been part of the mix for several years. Retailers anticipate it now—that feels good, it has definitely made its mark,” said Shales.
So, buyers, don’t wait to get your hands on this top-dollar variety. The sales are sure to follow.