Divine Flavor's Michael DuPuis and Carlos Bon Discuss Late Season Mexican Table Grape Availability
SONORA, MEXICO - As growers and suppliers lock their sights on innovative, flavorful, new produce offerings, consumers are evolving their taste buds right along with them. With summer fast approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere, Divine Flavor is working to bring consumers premium grape varieties later into the season and enable retailers to expand their sales window.
“We’re harvesting later into the Caborca, Mexico, region, giving us a tremendous opportunity to extend high-flavor table grapes at a key time in the Sonoran grape season,” explained Michael DuPuis, Quality Assurance and Public Relations Manager. “So, for our retail partners and us, this means more Sweet Globes and Sweet Celebrations—the varieties that we feel very confident that we were growing very well down in our vineyards in Mexico.”
To achieve this feat, Divine Flavor began setting up operations in Caborca five years ago, purchasing a ranch in the area and studying the historical weather patterns of the region. After much analysis, the team decided it would start growing late-season grapes in the driest areas of the desert. Simply, the company planted late varieties in a late area to achieve the best-quality grapes with the best flavor at a time that used to be synonymous with crop transitions.
“This period used to consist of either too old Mexican grapes or too early, small, and not very sweet California grapes,” said Carlos Bon, Vice President of Sales. “To put it in other words, there wasn’t an actual gap in grapes in the market, but there was a gap of premium, high-flavor varieties.”
Since deciding to attack this mission, Divine Flavor has seen fantastic results. While there was room to improve after officially getting underway last year, the company is seeing optimal outcomes across the board this year.
“The yields, sizing, bunch formation, and foliage on the plants we are seeing are great,” added Carlos. “We’re very excited about this coming big first year out of Santa Elena, our ranch in Caborca. It will allow us to promote a lot of grapes in the month of July, where in the past, we haven’t been able to. Because of this, we have programs and contracts with our customers all the way through July 20.”
And with delicious table grapes comes increased demand from shoppers, providing retailers with a host of opportunities to capitalize on the extended season, especially with critical merchandising summer holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July around the bend.
“We’re excited. We’re dealing with loads of flavor here, and our customers get ecstatic. They’re very pleased to have these kinds of grapes coming from growers who know how to grow them, have the right experience, and are backed by our promises, whether regarding our social responsibility programs or our top-notch food safety programs,” Michael imparts. “But not only that, these grapes are organic and produced in a sustainable manner, which is key for their consumers.”
So, if premium table grapes are what you’re after, Divine Flavor has you covered with great late-season options to meet summer demand.