Retailers can expect sales gains in organic apple bags with smaller crop size, says CMI
September 19, 2017
Columbia Marketing International LLC (CMI), owner of the Daisy Girl brand of organic apples, said with organic apple production estimated to be up by 15 percent in the 2017 season, it is planning to expand distribution.
Wenatchee, Wash.-based CMI, is the sales and marketing company for six, independently owned operations growing and packing organic and conventional apples, pears, and cherries in the state. The company also has an exclusive apple and cherry partnership with Unifrutti of Chile and Kleppe of Argentina.
For the second year in a row, Daisy Girl is the top-selling, branded organic apple package in the U.S. market, said George Harter, CMI vice president of marketing.
Harter said there are several Daisy Girl orchards just coming into production, which will boost retail distribution and promotions beyond the 9,000 stores that carried the organic brand last season.
Citing Nielsen retail scan data for the past season, Harter said Daisy Girl also holds the leading sales rank for packaged organic Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Ambrosia, Granny Smith and Rosalynn apple varieties.
"We are a little disappointed because our Daisy Girl Pink Lady pouch bag was only [number two] in U.S. organic sales in 2016 for this variety, so we’ve got some work to do this season on Pinks," Harter said.
Still, with the smaller size profile of the organic apple crop in Washington this year, retailers should expect to see significant sales gains in organic bags, Harter said.
The company introduced the two-pound, organic pouch bag to lower the retail price point for consumers, while upgrading the packaging to change the shelf presentation from a commodity product to a high-value branded item, according to Steve Lutz, CMI senior strategist.
Lutz also cited Nielsen data showing branded organics overall are driving the category's performance.
"This past season, branded organic apple packages, generated a 26 percent year-over-year sales increase," Lutz said. "During the same period, unbranded and private-label organic apple bags showed a decline of 10.2 percent."