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Organic and branded apples linked to strong retail performance

The organic sector has exploded in the U.S. with more growth on the horizon. According to George Harter, vice president of marketing for CMI Orchards, the company is well poised to help retailers magnify category sales by offering a fourth tier of selling potential.Daisy-Girl-Organics-by-CMI-Orchards

“Most retailers carry first-, second- and third-tier items, which are the conventional core varieties, organic core varieties, and conventional branded apples respectively,” he said. “The retailers that are really benefiting from large profits in their apple category recognize the value in adding a fourth tier of selling to drive interest and excitement by offering another vehicle for incremental sales: branded organic apples.”

CMI grows and markets seven of the top-12-selling branded apples in the United States, Harter said, referencing the last 52 weeks of sales data sourced by Nielson through Dec. 29, which shows strong performance for Ambrosia, Jazz, Envy, Kanzi, KIKU, Pacific Rose and Smitten apples. “Of these rock star conventional branded apples, CMI has really set ourselves apart by investing in branded organics,” he said. “We can deliver organic Ambrosia, KIKU, Kanzi, Envy and Smitten, providing retailers with some great options for leveraging the power of higher value apples on the shelf.”

According to Harter, Nielsen data show organic Ambrosia is the No. 1 selling branded organic apple, performing a staggering 95 percent higher in sales dollars than the second-ranked branded organic apple. “Of the five top-selling branded organic apples, CMI carries three:  Ambrosia, Kanzi and Jazz apples.” He added that organic Ambrosia had stronger sales performance than the second and third top performers combined.

Robb Myers, director of domestic sales for CMI Orchards, said that CMI grows about a quarter of the organic Washington state apple crop. “That’s more than 100 million pounds annually. We’ve reached significant volume where we are close to being able to supply customers year-round with organics, supplemented by import organic apples in the summer,” he said.

Myers went on to add that CMI is able to further sweeten the pot by offering retailers ways to segregate this exciting growth category even further with branded organics.

“Put it this way,” Myers said, “You can essentially amplify your set price points considerably with each tier, resulting in more sales for your stores. If you’re offering only three tiers in your apple category, you’re missing a huge opportunity to capture dollars with branded organics.”