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Superfresh Growers touting organic apples

At Domex Superfresh Growers, based in Yakima, WA, its Autumn Glory apples continue to grow in both popularity and sales, and the company expects that to lead the way in 2018.

“Superfresh Growers owns the Autumn Glory apples and holds exclusive worldwide rights to grow and sell this unique apple variety,” said Catherine Gipe-Stewart, the company’s communications manager. “We will grow from 200,000 to 300,000 boxes for the 2018 season. Within five years, we will have volume to support a year-round supply.”

Recently, apples have peaked on smaller sizes, and bag sales are up, with two-pound bags driving the apple category, with a 4 percent increase in both dollars and pounds for the month of November (IRI data through Dec. 3, 2017).

Autumn-Glory-Bags---fall-bkg The company is also seeing an increase in organics, with many varieties doubling in sales.

“For example, we are seeing a decrease in conventional Grannies, while organic Grannies increase,” Gipe-Stewart said. “Granny Smith continues to be the No. 4 apple nationwide, and up ticked to No. 3 for the month of November.”

As it continues to grow its volume of organics, the company is looking forward to showing off its Superfresh Organics two-pound apple and pear pouches at this year’s SEPC show, as well as its cherry pouch bags as a reminder of its ever-increasing organic cherry crop — both Rainier and Dark Sweet.

“We often have busy millennial parents call and write in asking about convenience packing and organics. The two are a natural fit for our current generation of health-conscious busy people,” Gipe-Stewart said. “We will also be showing off organic and conventional Autumn Glory, which recently broke into the Top 20 apples at No. 18 in November IRI data.”

The company will be occupying Booth No. 503 and is looking forward to connecting to its East Coast customers, getting updates on what is going on in their world and how it can continue be of service.

“Attendance at SEPC is always excellent and the conversations are important ones as we set up for the upcoming crop-year,” Gipe-Stewart said. “With cherry season starting only a few months after SEPC, this is a great opportunity to start planning the season.”

Organics continue to be a hot topic around the industry and one that those at Superfresh Growers expect to talk a great deal about at the show.

“For apples, organics are up 13 percent in pounds for November vs. PY. Consumers want more options and organic is one of the most requested items we hear about from our social media consumer community,” Gipe-Stewart said. “The largest organic buying generation is millennials, and once millennials become parents, the percentage of organic consumption continues to increase.”

In 2018, the company is jazzed about its Two-Bite Cherries, and is now in its second year of promoting its jumbo, juicy and full-of-flavor cherries from its Northwest orchards. The program is designed to deliver a premium, special cherry offering that complements retailer’s “every day” bag cherry programs.

“Customers will be able to share these jumbo Two-Bite Cherries at summer picnics, barbeques and pool parties. For retailers, the sale will be incremental and deliver a higher ring at the register,” Gipe-Stewart said. “The Two-Bite Cherry program will be available in pouch bags and clam shells, and will be rolled out with a full marketing program, which is designed to increase cherry purchases, and engage in online conversation about cherry season, which created a successful 20 million impressions in past contests.”

It will be incorporated into the popular annual Sweeten Up Your Summer sweepstakes, and for the month of July, Superfresh Growers will be interacting with the social community, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, increasing cherry consumption, and giving away gift card prizes.