California

Limited supply of pomegranates means boost for packaged products

Much like its 2016 year, fresh pomegranates were in limited supply for 2017.



“Due to unseasonably hot weather and short spouts of rainfall in California’s San Joaquin Valley, this year’s fresh pomegranate harvest was unfortunately cut short,” says Adam Cooper of Los Angeles, Ca.-based The Wonderful Company, which grows some 9,000 acres of Wonderful variety of pomegranates in Central California. “Due to rain, we had similar pomegranate supply in 2016 and 2017.”



Interest in arils
That said, Wonderful did see a boost in its pomegranate product of POM POMS Fresh arils, which are pre-packaged containers of the pomegranate seeds. “Both years were excellent for POM POMS—in fact, our sales this year are trending better than sales the previous year,” says Cooper. In the 2016 season, the arils category saw a 28 percent increase in sales in-season and the volume had grown 19 percent per year over the past five years. Cooper says POM accounts for the majority of the growth at 75 percent.



Changing its image
The increasing interest in arils is part of a bigger shift in the way pomegranates are seen. “More than a decade ago, pomegranates were seasonal commodities before POM Wonderful was created,” he says. That was done by marketing initiatives such as creating in-store branded bins and providing eye-catching point-of-sale items for produce departments as well as traditional advertising initiatives such as print and television ads. In addition, developing new products such as the POM Juice and arils packed separately further fueled the industry. “And this growth of interest in pomegranate products sparked an increase of farmers planting pomegranate trees,” says Cooper.

For more information:
Estela Weinmann
The Wonderful Company
Tel: +1-(559) 888-8500
Estela.Weinmann@wonderful.com
www.wonderful.com

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