Fruit World's Bianca Kaprielian and CJ Buxman Discuss California Grape Season
REEDLEY, CA - The California grape season is always highly anticipated amongst retailers and foodservice operators alike as consumers look for the best of the best to fill their shopping baskets. Fruit World Co., like the company name implies, is one of those great partners seeking to create a fresh fruit lifestyle in produce departments and is doing so this summer and into the fall. With the company’s organic California grape season having kicked off in July, Fruit World is looking to build on promotional opportunities with its customer base and expand its relationships with new retailers and operators.
“Available through October, our California grape program brings a full organic line of innovative and heritage varieties from new and old school growers in the Golden State,” Co-Owner and Operator Bianca Kaprielian shares with me. “It is an exciting time to build value in the produce department and on the plate.”
Fruit World offers three types of industry packing across its organic red, black, and green varieties, showcasing a 9 x 2 lb pouch bag, a 20 x 1 lb clamshell, and a 10 x 2 lb brown paper tote. The company occasionally has people ask for a loose volume filled pack which Fruit World can tailor its efforts to as well. For the company’s organic Thomcord grapes, it packs the variety either in a 20 x 1 lb high-graphic clamshell or a 10 x 2 lb brown paper tote.
“We listen to the needs of our customers and work closely with them on designing a program that is specific to their business model and demographics,” Bianca says.
The team is expecting a steady supply of its organic Thomcord grapes during the 2019 season, as the company confirms consumers love these grapes and anticipates the return of the high demand the variety has seen in previous years. Thomcords are a hybrid of the heirloom "grape jelly" Concord grape and popular Thompson Seedless grape and are known for being exceptionally flavorful and aromatic.
While the company seeks to give customers those traditional and innovative varieties, Fruit World truly prides itself on the heritage varieties grown on heritage vines.
“One of our partners is Pete Wolf, who was one of the first organic growers in California. If this gives you any idea of his roots in the industry, Pete’s organic certification number is 002,” Co-Founder and Operator CJ Buxman tells me. “Pete implemented sustainable practices when organic was more of an underground movement and as you can see, organic has become mainstream. We are very proud to work with Pete, who brings some of the sweetest, crunchiest grapes around. The eating experience truly encapsulates the history of the land, the industry, and the aroma and flavor that particular consumers are seeking.”
For an industry of storytellers, sometimes the best ones are the fruit themselves. At least in Fruit World’s mind, the grapes are the real star.