Stemilt's Roger Pepperl Talks Piñata® Apple for the Holidays
WENATCHEE, WA – With the winter months fast approaching, and rain and snow clouding the weather forecast Stemilt’s Piñata®, a classic apple with a tropical twist, can bring sunshine, sales, and brighter spirits to your produce department shelves just in time for the holidays.
“This year’s Piñata harvest was a great, successful one,” said Roger Pepperl, Marketing Director, in a recent press release. “It’s a ‘classic crop’ with high colors, excellent condition, and dessert flavors with a nice balance of acids and sugars. Consumers will not be disappointed when they get their hands on these apples.”
Harvested at peak timing, the 2017 Piñata crop has maximized beautiful coloring–a full red to stripy red with a yellow-orange background–and high acids and sugars. Not only does the Piñata pop on the shelves, but is a constant classic despite the launch of newer apple varieties, which Pepperl accredits to the high-quality crop and well-established trees of the Piñata variety.
“We have some of the best, most experienced farmers in the industry and they have worked hard to ensure that the trees are well-established and cared for,” stated Pepperl. “Their dedication to those trees is extremely apparent in this year’s crop. They are producing large, high-quality Piñata apples that have everything a consumer wants: a crisp bite with an explosion of flavor.”
Piñata apples are peaking at size 80s conventionally and size 100 organically. Pepperl suggests that retailers capitalize on the smaller sizes as small sized fruit bodes well with parent consumers who are looking to provide healthy, flavorful snacks for their children.
“Lil Snapper® kid-size fruit is an ideal item to carry, especially in a year with smaller fruit sizing,” Pepperl noted. “The Piñata apple is a favorite among children consumers as it has the perfect balance of acid and sugar. Plus, the 3lb pouch bags have proven very successful among parent consumers as they offer the right amount of fruit for a school week.”
Stemilt offers Lil Snappers Piñata in 9/3 lb pouch bags for conventional and organic varieties. Stemilt also offers Piñata apples in value bags that fall under the umbrella of the Apple Lovers program, as well as in an 8/5 lb Piñata display ready carton (DRC).
Pepperl also encourages retailers to use the fun, tropical branding as a way to catch the eye of the consumer. Both Piñata DRCs and standard cartons have palm trees, an apple island, and a cruise ship to play off the “tropical twist.” Pepperl said that chains have been successful when constructing high visual, stimulating Pinata apple displays with cartons in produce departments.
“Piñata promotions now through Cinco de Mayo are essential in pushing high volumes and earning dollars,” said Pepperl. “We have seen chains do exceptionally well in January as they use the branding to create a ‘tropical destination’ for shoppers and encourage purchases during the cold winter months. We have also seen displays that combine Piñata apples with pineapples to create an illusion of an island destination and encourage consumers to jump on board with the tropical twist!”
Naturally crossed between three heirloom varieties–Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin, and Duchess of Oldenburg–back in the 1970s in Dresden-Pillnitz, Germany, Stemilt’s founding family, the Mathisons, obtained the exclusive rights to grow and market the Pinova apple cultivar variety, the brand name for the Piñata, in 2004 before hitting the U.S. market in 2009. Now that it has been established, the Piñata has become a consumer favorite because of its versatility and ability to naturally resist browning.
“The Piñata variety couldn’t come at a better time as the holidays are right around the corner,” stated Pepperl. “It is the ideal apple in so many different ways; from its flavor to its branding to its culinary abilities, there really isn’t anything this apple can’t do.”
Great for snacking and perfect for holiday culinary masterpieces like pies, tarts, and whatever else one dreams up with apples, Piñata apples have explosive flavor consumers won’t want to miss out on during the dreary months. Check out your produce aisle for Piñata apples today, and for more holiday treat must-haves, stay up-to-date with AndNowUKnow.