Progressive Grocer

SEP 2016

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130 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | September 2016 Fresh Food Produce Sustaining and growing sales of branded produce offer both fresh opportunities and new challenges for supermarkets. "e real challenge is in maintain- ing that success and capitalizing on it as you introduce new products to the retail space," says Coppola, who adds that focusing on the messages that resonate most with consumers — fresh, healthy and convenient — is key. "It's the trifecta for success." Runaway Success What could be more fresh, healthy and convenient than an apple? Rainier Fruit Co. encapsulates the fruit's virtues in its new Wholesome to the Core messaging. e Selah, Wash.- based company's latest campaign targets health-conscious consumers in general, and runners in particular. "According to Running USA, run- ning as a sport has grown by over 300 percent during the last 20 years, and nearly 19 million athletes completed a running event in 2015," notes Andy Tudor, Rainier's director of business development. e company plans to support this burgeoning community with online promotions and in-market events that celebrate everyday runners. As part of Rainier's new focus, it has forged a three-year sponsorship agreement with the Boston Athletic Association to serve as the official ap- ple of the Boston Marathon, an event that attracts some 30,000 participants and 500,000 spectators. Rainier created a special Boston Marathon box that was featured in supermarkets and club stores, in- cluding Whole Foods Market and Costco, throughout the Northeast. Many of the participating retailers, like a Whole Foods store in Portland, Maine, built captivating displays of Rainier's organic apples using the display-ready marathon boxes. "e iconic blue-and-yellow brand- ing of the Boston Marathon got both retailers and consumers excited, and Branded produce is quite important today, because trust, safety, quality and reliability are how consumers make their choices, and that's what brands convey." —Mary Coppola, United Fresh Produce Association C ool RU nnin GS A Whole Foods Market in Portland, Maine, features Rainier apples for the Boston Marathon. Stemilt introduces its "Inspiration Orchard" vision to the produce industry WEST MATHISON took his quest to be the most unique and flavor driven apple grower and shipper in the industry to a place we call Inspiration Orchard. is is a place, "Where Flavors Grow" because of an integrati- on of the ground, locations, horticulturalists, varieties and root stock. Our journey is an endless journey to a consumer driven place. Stemilt has put a special emphasis in developing new apple varieties in our test orchards for the future while delivering a superior experience with today's premium mix. Stemilt grows the very best Piñata® apples, has SweeTango® to spark the early apple category, maintains our pioneer leadership role in Pink Lady®, has an Aztec Fuji program that dazzles the eye and the palate and we have our Honeyhill ™ premium Honeycrisp program. ese programs maximize the ability to deliver high color fruit with the maximum sugars, acids and condition which gives retail the perfect consumer experience. West Mathison Stemilt Growers LLC

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