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OPN Connect Newsletter 245 · November 25, 2021

Stemilt Growers Releases Redesigned Pouch Bags for Organic Apples and Pears


Stemilt Growers, a family-owned company with more than 100 years of growing experience, is in the midst of harvesting its 2021-2022 crop of organic apples and pears.

“Our organic brand, Artisan Organics, is all about growing modern flavors that consumers will love,” said Brianna Shales, marketing director for the Wenatchee, WA-based company. “We’ve expanded organic availability on popular apples like Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady. We’ve also increased organic supplies of the club apple SweeTango, which we market for the West Coast of the US”

Starr Ranch December 2021

Brianna Shales, Marketing Director, Stemilt Growers

One big trend the company has noticed over the last 18 months is a rise in demand for packaged organic apples, the result of changed shopping habits due to COVID.

“Our organic brand, Artisan Organics, is all about growing modern flavors that consumers will love.” – Brianna Shales

Wish Farms December 2021

In response, Stemilt revamped the design of its popular kids brand, Lil Snappers. The company also brought a new look to its larger pouch bag program for organic apples and pears.

Stemilt Lil Snappers pouch bag

“We recently redesigned our 5-pound Artisan Organics 'Apple Lover' pouch bags,” Shales said. “This larger pouch bag helps boost the purchase size of organic apples and is aimed at people that stock up on items or are heavy users of apples. It’s available in a number of varieties but is ideal for core varieties like Fuji and Gala.”

Global Organics Group December 2021

The new pouch bag design matches Stemilt’s Artisan Organics black-and-bright-green branding and has easy-to-read labels that convey the organic fruit variety inside and its flavor attributes.

Stemilt 5-lb organic Fuji pouch bag

“We’ve had this larger pouch bag option for several years now but have expanded the number of varieties in the program as it developed traction at retail,” Shales said. “It’s a great option for retailers looking to move bigger volumes of organics as part of an in-and-out promotion, but we also see people using it as an everyday item to help with e-commerce purchases of apples, the stock-up or heavy apple user/shopper, or during peak holiday times.”

Heliae December 2021

Larger poly bags have been part of the apple assortment for a long time, but they had not evolved to a pouch, grab-and-go style bag. Once those took off in smaller pack sizes (2- and 3-pound), Stemilt saw an opportunity to help retailers move more organic apples in a larger pack type.

Stemilt Artisan Organics logo

“It’s a great option for retailers looking to move bigger volumes of organics as part of an in-and-out promotion, but we also see people using it as an everyday item to help with e-commerce purchases of apples, the stock-up or heavy apple user/shopper, or during peak holiday times.” – Brianna Shales

NatureSafe December 2021

“The bag brings great visibility to the product and also offers convenience at store, for e-commerce order picking, and much more,” Shales said. “It is designed to stand up, which makes its visibility in the fridge at home much easier for consumers than a traditional poly bag of apples did.”

Organic Gala apples

The pouch bags feature a resealable, press-to-close zipper, which makes them very user-friendly.

State of Organic Produce December 2021

“During the big stock-up period when COVID-19 first shut life down, retailers that converted to this larger pack type had an easier time with refilling displays and driving volume,” Shales said. “It’s a great item for today’s challenges with keeping produce displays full and will especially benefit retailers during peak holiday times, like the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.”

The pouch bags feature a resealable, press-to-close zipper, which makes them very user-friendly.

Stemilt 5-lb organic Granny Smith pouch bag

Ocean Mist December 2021

For the most part, the varieties Stemilt offers in the 5-pound Artisan Organics Apple Lover packs are available year-round.

“Retailers may want to consider this for in-and-out specials, especially if they already have a well-established 3-pound organic bag program,” Shales said. “The beauty in packaged apples is that we can market our brand and its intent right on the packaging. People know when they grab this that they are going to get high-quality organic apples that are going to delight the apple lover.”

State of Organic Produce December 2021

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