CMI Orchards Reports KIKU® Growers Are Ready to Round Out Successful Season
WENATCHEE, WA - U.S. KIKU® growers have made it to the final six to eight weeks of selling the 2017 crop, and CMI Orchards has reported they’ve had quite a successful season to look back upon. And with the import season on the way, it seems there's plenty to look forward to, too.
“Between CMI and our partners Rice Fruit Company in Pennsylvania and Applewood Orchards in Michigan, we had less volume to sell, which proved to be a challenge in planning promotions," explained George Harter, Vice President of Marketing. “However, this helped drive demand as consumers were hungry to find KIKU on the shelf.”
And even with the slowed-down volume, Nielsen national scan data has highlighted the success of CMI’s strategy this year, Harter added. According to a press release, the data reveals that the top 15 KIKU retail chains nationally increased sales by 124 percent, with volume up over 100 percent.
“The top 15 KIKU retailer banners in the U.S. more than doubled their KIKU volume for the season,” Harter said. “More importantly, they increased their volume while sustaining higher average retail prices. In a year where most retailers are experiencing significant category price deflation, having an apple brand like KIKU drive sales and higher retail prices has been a huge win.”
So, retailers, how long will you be able to get your hands on KIKU? Harter predicted the crop will likely be completely sold out by mid May—well ahead of last year.
And as supplies of domestically grown KIKU are reaching their end, CMI Orchards is shifting focus towards KIKU imports from Chile and New Zealand. Robb Myers, the company’s Import Manager, shared that CMI has plans in place for the import KIKU season to begin on June 1.
“We’re expecting a strong import season on KIKU from our growers in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Myers, adding that the KIKU import season will kick off in early June with supplies available through September.
Another reason to get excited for KIKU from the Southern Hemisphere is sizing, with Meyer happily having reported that it is looking to be excellent. “Having large-size KIKU available this summer should really help retailers that have been struggling to maintain category volume due to the smaller size structure of the Washington crop,” he said. “We think KIKU will be positioned very well to drive incremental dollars for retailers.”
Want to be one of the first retailers to place an order ahead of the June 1st KIKU import arrival? Myers shared that some have already began ordering in anticipation of the season.
“The lead time for imports is a little longer than for domestic product, so it’s important that retailers are out in front with their sales planning to ensure we have KIKU set aside to cover them through the season,” he finished.
With plenty to be pleased with and plenty to keep the excitement going, CMI Orchards doesn’t seem like it plans to slow down any time soon. Stay tuned as ANUK continues to bring you the latest.