Chelan Fresh Renews Focus on Organics, Offers Advice to Retailers, New Packaging
CHELAN, WA - Between the upcoming holidays, continued back-to-school promotions, and the consumer’s desire for healthier snacking options–now is the perfect time to promote Pacific Northwest apples and pears and impact retail sales.
One of those companies helping to create treefruit destinations at retail is Chelan Fresh, which recently merged with Borton Fruit and Columbia Valley Fruit to grow their programs and offerings. Mac Riggan, Director of Marketing for Chelan Fresh, takes a moment to share the latest and greatest with me on the teams’ organic focus as we talk fall fruit.
“Apple and pear promotions are key for retailers as we enter the fall season. The recent merger is going to nearly double, overnight, our organic offerings and takes our organic apples up to 12 varieties and organic pears to six,” Mac shares with me. “It also allows us to start considerably earlier by about two weeks, and will extend the season for our customers.”
Some of those key varieties that Chelan Fresh will be shipping this year are Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Ambrosia apples, as well as nine varieties of Asian pears, and Bartlett, D’Anjou, and Bosc pears to boot.
New to the fold this year, are redesigned organic apple and pear pouch bags, as this packaging style continues to draw demand.
“We will have these new pouch bags for organic D’Anjou and Bosc pears, along with pouch bags for our major organic apple varieties,” Mac says, adding that pouch bags are becoming the go-to option across retailers and demographics. “Pouch bags add value to the treefruit category and they also communicate a premium product to the consumer.”
These bags maintain a fresh, crystal clear look on the shelf, while also allowing the fruit to speak for itself and draw the consumer eye. In addition, the pouch bags help to address the challenges with organic vs. conventional apples and pears being rung incorrectly at the register.
“When produce is misrung at the register, it becomes shrink at the top, front end,” Mac adds. “With pouch bags it is impossible because they are UPC. So one of the things that a pouch bag does is prevents misrings on organic produce.”
Chelan Fresh pouch bags are available 2 lb and 3 lb options across apples and pears and Mac suggests creating a destination in the produce department, with a big display front-and-center. Promotional pricing will also help drive sales this fall and, as Mac adds, retailers should have clear, stand-out signage to call out the program and make the opportunities for impulse purchases, that much more fruitful.
As fall peeks over the horizon and Chelan Fresh’s program ramps up, stay tuned for more stories from AndNowUKnow and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.