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Stemilt has unveiled a new “Big Apple” promotion for jumbo-sized apples size 56 and larger that will provide the “wow” factor many shoppers expect to see in grocery stores during the holiday season. Roger Pepperl, marketing director for the Wenatchee, Wash.-based tree fruit specialist, said near-perfect growing conditions during the spring and summer gave Stemilt an excellent manifest of large-sized apples for the 2009-10 crop year.
“It was a king bloom year, which typically equals larger fruit sizes,” noted Pepperl. “Combine that with the superior growing conditions our region had this year, and the result is premium-quality fruit with many apples in larger-than-normal size profiles.”
The Big Apple promotion is unique in the fact that it can’t be done every year. “It takes a special crop year to produce such large, high-quality apples,” continued Pepperl, noting: “This is by far the biggest fruit I’ve seen in years. It will certainly help retailers call attention to apples during the holiday shopping rush.”
To merchandise jumbo apples in-store, Pepperl recommends that retailers either substitute one or two regular varieties with a larger version for a month, or plan an in-and-out promotion on several jumbo varieties. “Keeping jumbo fruit promotions close to a holiday is ideal,” he said. “Apples of this size profile are not going to be picked up by consumers every week, but during the holiday season, larger fruit can be used to make a homemade pie, include in an attractive table setting, or simply show off to friends and family during a get-together.”
This season, Stemilt has several apple varieties available in jumbo size profiles, including Red Delicious, Braeburn, Cameo, and Fuji. In addition, promotions can be planned around jumbo d’Anjou or Bartlett pears.
The key to finding success with a jumbo fruit promotion is to feature several varieties on a large display in a high-traffic area, explained Pepperl, addings that it’s also ideal to tie in information on each variety with the display. A simple 11-inch-by-7-inch POS card is a great way to educate consumers on the featured apple’s distinct characteristics and best uses.
“Many consumers have never seen apples so big before,” said Pepperl. “Giving these large apples the attention they deserve will undoubtedly lead to increased sales. It brings fun and creativity to the produce department during the most festive time of the year.”
For more information, visit www.stemilt.com.