Dan Carapella Jr. Discusses Exclusive JAM Table Grape Program From Pacific Trellis Fruit
LOS ANGELES, CA - Everyone loves a little exclusivity factor, especially retailers. With this notion top of mind, Pacific Trellis Fruit is bringing the buy-side a one-of-a-kind program set to tantalize consumers’ taste buds and offer differentiation in the produce aisle: JAM table grapes.
“Opportunities in this category are primed for success as we move into the holiday season. JAM grapes have been well received by the industry since their introduction as a way to capture incremental sales opportunities in the table grape category,” Dan Carapella Jr., Senior Sales, shares with me. “The variety is an exclusive item to Pacific Trellis Fruit and we are excited to carry it and offer the program to our retail partners.”
The quality of JAM grapes has been excellent with Pacific Trellis’ earliest arrivals to the U.S. over the last month. Supplies are steady, as the team notes, making now a great time to promote.
“JAM Grapes are similar in most respects to the Concord grape in flavor and appearance. However, they are 100 percent seedless. Unlike the Thomcord, which can have some seed trace—since the Concord is a parent variety—JAM grapes are a completely unique variety that is always seedless,” Dan adds.
The JAM variety is exclusive to Brazil and was developed by Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation. The current availability windows in the U.S. Market are October into February and then gain April through June, with the potential for year-round availability in ideal weather conditions.
“We are always looking at ways to extend the market window, and because of Brazil’s unique harvesting technique of producing two commercial crops per year, we are confident we will be able to extend the periods that JAM grapes are available in the market in the near future,” Dan says.
As we talk more about supply and demand this fall, Pacific Trellis reveals that because of the similarity to Concord, there was a bit of overlap with the Michigan Concord crop. This limited demand will exist in the Midwest region until that crop has finished.
“We have since seen a seamless transition to the JAM grapes as that crop came to an end. Similarly, we’ve seen a hesitancy among retailers to carry two specialty black seedless grape options at the same time and have had some market competition with some specialty varieties out of California,” Dan reflects. “The table grape category is incredibly competitive, and that makes us all raise the bar on flavor and quality across the board.”
This year, Pacific Trellis’ standard offering is the 1-lb clamshell. The company is also offering a 2-lb or 3-lb clamshells as well as a fixed weight or a random weight high-graphic bag option for retail partners.
JAM Grapes, under the Premium Dulcinea brand, will be available as early as November.
“This is very exciting since Dulcinea, which is generally associated with our melon business, is a beloved consumer brand with high-awareness and appeal,” Dan states.
Can you feel the premium prices and exclusivity factor just hanging there on the vine? Time to pick it!