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Getting ahead of the curve for pear sales

The industry is just weeks away from pear season and Stemilt Growers is encouraging retailers to start planning their fall lineup to include a wide variety of pears from Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers brand. Brianna Shales, Stemilt’s communications manager, wants retailers to know how important it is to get ahead of the curve even during the busy summer season.PearHarvest 2872

“Although autumn may still be far away, now is the time to start working with your Stemilt representative to get pears ready for big, multi-variety ads as pears are harvested this fall,” said Shales. “This year we are expecting a crop with large fruit size, great flavor and quality, plus an increasing organic category.”

Due to a crop with large-sized pears, Shales said bulk will be the primary promotion vehicle for the 2019-20 season. Retailers should plan large displays with Stemilt’s pear bin or easy pallet display, both of which feature the Rushing Rivers brand. Featuring bulk with Stemilt’s displays gives retailers an opportunity to tell the consumer the story of Rushing Rivers and offer them a bit of information about where the fruit is grown. Shales suggests that retailers should organize pears by variety and color, adding in both red and green varieties to present an attractive color break display that is eye-catching for the consumer.

“Placing prominent pear displays in a high traffic area will boost any retailer’s pear category,” said Shales. “With so many items in produce, it is crucial that retailer’s pears have moments where they are front and center. An attractive display can captivate both the conventional and organic consumer.”

Summer pear varieties that will kick off the Rushing Rivers season include conventional Tosca, Bartlett and Starkrimson, with organic Tosca, Skarkrimson and Bartlett to follow. In mid- to late September, retailers can expect harvest for conventional Bosc, Red d’Anjou and d’Anjou with organic Bosc to follow toward the end of September.

Tosca, Bartlett and red pears will also be available through Lil Snappers kid-size fruit in three-pound conventional pear bags or two-pound organic pear bags. Offering an easy grab-and-go snack will bode with parent consumers who seek healthy, easy snacks and will be available both conventionally and organically.

“In the industry as a whole, the organic category is growing, but there is a lot of growth here at Stemilt as well as with our growing and packing partner, Hi-Up Growers,” said Shales. “As we all know, organic is a constantly evolving category and it is in high demand. Even though growing pears organically is a challenge, we feel it’s an important offering to consumers and have recently increased organic pear volumes.”

Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers pear brand was introduced in 2014 and focuses on the two best pear growing locales in the world — the Wenatchee and Entiat river valleys. These neighboring valleys are surrounded by alpine peaks that keeps air flow through orchards and helps pears stay cool during the warm summer months. The soil that sits beneath each tree is rich with nutrients to provide pears with the fuel that they need to grow in size and develop dessert flavors.

“Our Rushing Rivers brand has such a unique story to tell, which is why we encourage retailers to share that story with consumers,” said Shales. “Transparency is appreciated among consumers, which leads to a delightful experience — something we are striving for every day.”