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Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers:

US: Start of December holiday apple sales at record pace

Citing exceptional quality and movement, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers Marketing Director Scott Marboe said in early December that holiday season apple sales are brisk and the 2013 pear crop is “moving at a record pace for us.”

“It has been excellent despite the large apple holdings in the East,” Marboe said, noting that apple demand has been particularly good for for Red Delicious, Honeycrisp and Gala varieties.

Dan Wohlford, national marketing representative for OSRG, agreed, saying, “As we roll into the 2013 holiday season, we here at Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers are very pleased with our harvest. It was a rush, as it always is, to get everything picked in time, but we’re done, and the fruit both apples and pears look excellent.”

Wohlford continued, “Apple sizing and quality is very good. There were some concerns early in harvest with some really warm days that could possibly affect fruit quality, but in the end it was all right, and sales have been brisk.”

The company heads into 2014 with good supplies, he added. “Our storage levels are right on target and as we end 2013. We will open up controlled atmosphere rooms in January, and the transition to CA will be smooth with quality remaining steady. We anticipate near normal volumes throughout the rest of the winter and into spring. So there will be plenty of apples and pears to promote,” Wohlford said.

He said the 2013 pear crop is “huge in terms of volume and sizing,” and, “There are plenty of promotional opportunities on 60 and 70 size in both Green and Red D’Anjous. Large-size Bosc also offer very promotable prices and quantities, so retailers can promote two or more varieties to meet consumers’ desires. For Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays retailers have really stepped up and promoted pears, and it will pay dividends for them in higher incremental sales.”

Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers have combination packs of Green and Red D’Anjous in a gift box as well as a five-pound bag of the coloured pears that Wohlford said are selling well at retail.

“We are also very excited about our expanded facility at Columbia Reach in the Yakima area,” he said. “One of the really exciting things is the state-of-the-art packing line that features sophisticated optics for faster and more accurate colour and grade defect detection. That allows us to increase our packing capacity while being more precise on colour and quality requirements.”

For more information:
Scott Marboe
Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers
Tel: +1 509-888-5120

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