Oppy's David Nelley Highlights JAZZ, Envy, and Pacific Rose in Apple and Pear Program
VANCOUVER, CANADA – You know what they say about an apple a day…and if you are this company, you are suggesting several. This winter, Oppy is bringing excitement to the apple and pear categories for produce departments across North America and Asia with some of its most popular varieties and merchandising options.
To address this competitive edge for retailers who partner with Oppy is David Nelley, Vice President, Categories, who took a few minutes to share the company’s latest and greatest with me. Starting with apples.
“JAZZ, Envy, and Pacific Rose continue to drive significant dollar sales during the Washington season and indeed year-round,” David tells me. “FreshLook data reveals all three on the list of top 10 earners among new, non-mainstream apples in 2016. We were not surprised, considering our daily interactions with consumers seeking out and applauding these varieties on social media. JAZZ and Envy are consistently in the top five, and Pacific Rose has been elevated to the eighth strongest new apple in dollar sales in the last year.”
In terms of Pacific Rose apples, this big push to drive domestic sales for the variety in the last few years–in an effort to balance out the high demand for the apple in Asia–is creating meaningful traction and has met with great success.
Oppy has good conventionally grown supplies of all three, available now, and while the company is sold out on organic JAZZ, and is in the final stanza of its organic Pacific Rose program, the company will have organic Envy available through February.
“IRI data tells us that people are voting with their dollars and migrating up, to apples that deliver the best flavor. Our results are showing that JAZZ, Pacific Rose, and Envy fit the bill and retailers can optimize gross sales during this deflationary period by carrying all three, promoting and sampling,” David shares.
Here is a quick snapshot of some of the key attributes of each variety:
- JAZZ: Characterized by some as a “flavor bomb,” JAZZ is tangy-sweet, juicy and delivers an amazing crunch.
- Envy: Beautiful, sweet, crispy and juicy. Naturally slow to brown when cut. One of the most satisfying apples around.
- Pacific Rose: Rosy in color, often large in size, delicately sweet. Big demand for this apple in Asia is mirrored by inroads for Pacific Rose in the North American communities where many shoppers of Asian heritage live.
Just around the corner is Oppy’s organic apple and pear import program, which is generating much excitement among the company’s retail partners.
“We are pretty stoked about the imported organic apple and pear season ahead. Not only will we provide continuity of our domestic organic JAZZ programs with fruit from New Zealand, we’ll offer a well-rounded assortment of numerous other varieties from Chile and Argentina,” David says, adding that fruit from South American growers will feature strongly in our program.
Oppy is anticipating significant volumes from Argentina as the switch to organics there has been quite astounding. The company is also seeing large growth in both apples and pears, with twice the volume of organic Bartlett pears, for example, planned this season versus 2016.
Oppy’s staff are in Argentina this week to lock down programs that will entail not only pears, but also organic Galas, Granny Smith, and Cripps Pink apples.
When I ask David why retailers should look to Oppy's imported organic apple and pear program, he tells me that the company offers a fresh-crop alternative to domestic organics harvested last fall.
“While some may be cautious about financing growers in Argentina where the economic situation is vulnerable, Oppy has taken that risk away from retailers through our 20 years of expertise and relationships with growers and packers there,” he notes.
Some of the key organic varieties that Oppy will be offering are JAZZ, Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji Braeburn, Pacific Rose and Cripps Pink apples in addition to Packham, D’Anjou and Bartlett pears available from late February on.
“It’s well known that consumers are turning to organics more often than ever. Nearly 13 percent of all produce sold in the U.S. is now organic vs 5.8 percent in 2005. Our FreshLook data shows consistent demand for organic apples, and a slight increase in organic pear demand in the last year. This tells us there’s potential for growth, particularly with organic pears,” David adds. “Casual organic consumers are seeking more organic options at their supermarkets, and mainstream retailers have realized that offering more organics is helping them sell not only more organics but also more conventional produce.”
Oppy is finding tremendous support by offering a full multi-category approach on organics, including greenhouse, grapes kiwifruit, apples, pears, mangos and more on a single P.O.
“Also, as mainstream retailers strive to stock more organics, we can offer the convenience of combining multiple organic and conventional lines on the same order, such as organic peppers and tomatoes,” he shares.
As flavor and evolving consumer buying behaviors continue to drive both the apple and pear categories in fresh produce, we are sure Oppy will be ready to rise and meet the challenge.