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Rainier Fruit Co., headquartered in Yakima, WA, will sample its new, exciting apple variety, Lady Alice, at this year’s Southeast Produce Council Southern Exposure trade show. “Production has increased since its introduction just a few years ago as its appeal with consumers has taken off,” Director of Marketing Suzanne Wolter told The Produce News Feb. 11. “Lady Alice is one of two exclusive varieties offered by Rainier that brings additional dollars into the apple category. The variety launched in early February and will be available through the end of April. So there’s still plenty of time develop a plan this season.”

Attendees can visit booth 103 and find out what makes Lady Alice so special. Rainier supports each retailer’s market introduction with multiple POS options, social media, demos and other customized promotional efforts.

Ms. Wolter, sales representatives Gil King and Ron Conrad, and Director of Business Development Andy Tudor will be available at the show.

Ms. Wolter said the venue gives Rainier an opportunity to connect with customers in a more relaxed and intimate environment. “SPC does a great job attracting customers from outside their region in addition to providing a venue to talk with foodies who have an interest in the fresh industry,” she commented.

The company will also showcase its newly designed organic apple and pear packaging, which helps consumers with organic product identification. “Organic growth continues to surge, and Rainier Fruit is well positioned to meet growing demand through the most extensive organic mix available of apples, pears, cherries and blueberries,” she noted.

Last fall, Rainier launched new packaging which spotlights the portability of apples and pears as a perfect on-the-go snacking option. Sporting the tagline, “Perfect by Nature” and “Portable by Design,” Ms. Wolter said consumers have provided the company with overwhelmingly favorable responses to the campaign. “According to new snacking research from the NPD Group, fresh fruit is one of the fastest growing snack foods in America,” she stated. “Rainier Fruit’s merchandising bins and bags perfectly position retailers to capitalize on this snacking trend.”

Rainier Fruit will also talk about its continued participation in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program next fall. “Come learn about a program with the potential to reach the next generation of shoppers by influencing life-long healthy eating habits through a promotion that brings together multiple store departments,” Ms. Wolter said. “Retailers have an opportunity to increase sales by reinforcing the education message to parents and students as they learn new behaviors about healthy eating while building strong community relations with local schools.”