Stemilt's Brianna Shales Shares Spring Apple Update and Merchandising Opportunities
WENATCHEE, WA - The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and pollinators are happily buzzing about as the weather begins to warm here in the Northern Hemisphere. Amid this welcomed change in temperature, Stemilt is in the middle of the spring apple season. Brianna Shales, Marketing Director, took a beat to share how retailers can take advantage of its quality varieties and promotion tools.
“Right now, we are seeing some varietals finish up for the year, while other core varieties will continue into the summer months and have opportunities for promotion at retail,” explains Brianna. “We grow our apples in Washington state and are moving into our later storing apples. These are the ones that have great starch and quality markers at harvest, so we put them in controlled atmosphere storage rooms to bring out during this time of year for fresh packing and shipping.”
Brianna details that this year has been unique for Washington state and its apple crops, with smaller volumes than in many years. While some varieties have been in tight supply, others have had the opportunity to shine in the produce department.
Despite lower volumes for some apple varieties, Stemilt expects excellent quality to carry the grower into the summer season, and the new crop of apples comes in August and fall.
“It was a challenging weather year due to the cold last spring and hail events,” Brianna says. “That made impacts to the crop volumes and some fruit size hurdles. At this time of year, we anxiously await bloom on what will become the 2023 apple crop this fall. We’re enjoying spring weather this week and hoping it makes for a great environment for bees to do their work pollinating the new crop of apples.”
For retailers, Brianna encourages keeping on top of promotions this spring and summer, as apples are a staple for shoppers. This is a perfect way to boost sales volumes for the category.
“Apple retails have been higher, so dollars are naturally up, but the real magic is when retailers can have periods where they grow both dollar and volume share,” she imparts. “Look to Fuji, Pink Lady, and Cosmic Crisp as your main items to promote this summer. There are also some opportunities for bagged Gala!”
An apple a day keeps the summertime sadness away for both buyers and consumers, so keep your displays stocked all season with Stemilt’s wide variety of offerings!