OPN Connect Newsletter 188 · October 15, 2020

Organic Persimmons & Pomegranates Offer Fall Opportunities

While there are an increasing number of organic pomegranates and persimmons on the market, steady demand is strongly impacting promotional opportunities in the short term.

Stephen Paul, commodity manager for Homegrown Organic Farms, Porterville, CA, said the organic persimmon harvest for his company has several more weeks to go, with the supplies expected to last into about the third week of November. “We should have all our Hachiya persimmons off the trees by Halloween and will market them for several weeks after that,” he said.

Stemilt January 2021

Stephen Paul, Commodity Manager, Homegrown Organic Farms

Persimmons sizing is excellent this year with overall outstanding quality. “We are running about two to three weeks ahead of schedule. Demand is good, so we will not have them as long,” Paul said.

Angela Hernandez, director of marketing for Trinity Fruit Company Inc., said the Fresno, Ca-based grower shipper will offer organic Fuyu persimmons through December. “This variety is available in a Grab-n-go one-pound pouch bag as well as a one-layer tray pack,” she said, adding that sales have been brisk. “We expect higher f.o.b (pricing) compared to last year as well, as demand has been strong.”

Trinity Fruit grab-n-go Fuyu Persimmons

Chelan Fresh January 2021

Turning their attention to organic pomegranates, another popular fall option for retailers, the pair of California competitors said solid supplies should still lead to higher f.o.b. pricing because of demand.  “Last year was a great year, and we are optimistic that this year will follow, if not be even better,” Hernandez said.  “Demand has been strong, which allows for a higher f.o.b. With COVID-19, we’ve seen consumers wanting to eat healthier and fresh fruit will help achieve that with our healthier snack alternatives.”

Hernandez said throughout the final quarter of the year, the company will feature organic whole pomegranates as well as deseeded arils. “Our arils are available in 4.4- and 8-ounce cups. We also offer a two-pound bulk bag. For whole pomegranates, we offer a random-weight pouch bag and an 8-pound consumer box. Like all our commodities, we work every year to increase our supply to meet the demand,” she said.

Angela Hernandez, Director of Marketing, Trinity Fruit Company Inc.

Valent January 2021

Paul was very direct in speaking of the supply/demand curve for organic pomegranates. “I recommend that you pre-book your orders and you do that now,” he said.

Homegrown Organic Farms is in the middle of its fall pomegranate harvest, Paul said, which will run for about another month. “We will have them all packed by November 15 and will sell them until we run out,” he said. “Demand is very good. The spot market is going to be a challenge. Pre-book and pre-order, so we can factor those sales in as we move forward with the crop.”

Homegrown Organic Farms pomegranates

Shenandoah Growers Jan2021

“Demand has been strong, which allows for a higher f.o.b. With COVID-19, we’ve seen consumers wanting to eat healthier, and fresh fruit will help achieve that with our healthier snack alternatives.” -Angela Hernandez

In general, he said, demand exceeds supply for the organic fall fruit lineup, including for Asian pears. “We are on the backside of that season. We started in mid-June and will be out of fruit by mid-November.”

Homegrown Organic Farms Asian pears

Naturesafe January 2021

Speaking of all three fruit options, Paul said promotions are possible but reiterated that they need to be booked far in advance.

He noted that sales of organic produce have been very brisk this year, and he credited the pandemic with a solid portion of that increased demand. “Produce has had a pretty good year, with demand keeping up with or exceeding supplies all year long,” Paul said. “People have become reacquainted with their kitchens, which is a good thing (for produce sales). And if you take a bigger-picture look, it’s good for families as they are coming together more often to share a meal.”

Starr Ranch
Global Organics Group January 2021

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