The apple harvest is just around the corner and growers are preparing for the upcoming new season crop. For those in New York, conditions are on track for an on-time start and fruit sizes are looking larger across some blocs for SnapDragon. No damage has been reported during this summer's wet weather and heat wave events.
"Our apple harvest timeline is on schedule, and our growers are reporting excellent looking fruit," said Rena Montedoro, Vice President at Crunch Time Apple Growers. "There are also no reports of any damage to the fruit from weather. Numbers are up over last year. We expect to begin harvesting our SnapDragon and RubyFrost apples in late September and have them packed and available by early October.
SnapDragon apples ready for harvest
Strong growth for the specialties
Crunch Time's SnapDragon and RubyFrost apples have both recorded strong sales growth since their introduction, Montedoro said. Last year, sales doubled for SnapDragon across the board, with some regions experiencing even stronger growth.
"SnapDragon sales doubled across most major retailers who carried the apple, including Costco and Publix," Montedoro shared. "In the Southeast, SnapDragon sales tripled in 2018. It can be harder to find a good apple in that region and SnapDragon fills that void well. We do particularly well on repeat sales, and many retailers carried us through the entire season. Another factor is the amount of 'Snow birds' that reside there in the winter. Many are from New York and they are delighted at seeing a New York grown apple in store."
In addition to national sales growth, SnapDragon has been made available overseas too, in markets like Canada, Israel and Asia. According to the company, particularly strong growth has been registered in Canada which will be the subject of further expansion.
Although harvested at the same time as SnapDragon, Crunch Time's RubyFrost apple is shipped around New Year. It is a unique apple in that its flavor improves after a period of storage. The company shares that RubyFrost is particularly well suited as a baking apple as well as fresh. "RubyFrost is typically shipped in winter," Montedoro shared. "This year, we are hoping to have some in stores in time for the Holidays."
Strong social media engagement
Crunch Time Apple Growers uses multiple media to get the word out about SnapDragon and RubyFrost. The company said it provides robust, in-store marketing support for sales conversion — with dynamic promotions and live events like the Tough Mudder races. "As the exclusive apple sponsor of Tough Mudder, Snap will be getting Tough in New Jersey in October; Atlanta in November; and Central Florida on December 7th," Montedoro announced. "Companies can become a tent sponsor (at no cost) and we’ll put their logo in our TM tent. This can potentially reach 25,000 consumers live — and well over 2.5 million online consumers per event."
Other examples include national sampling programs, a school marketing campaign and national consumer online sweepstakes. The use of social media features heavily in the SnapDragon and RubyFrost promotional campaigns. Montedoro outlined how social media engagement has taken off.
"We had a really solid year, with our social media marketing supporting retailers by driving consumer traffic into stores," she said. "We recorded over 10 million impressions across our platforms, as well as over 7.5 million engagements. As an example, the Ibotta Coupon Program is a compelling program which runs from November to January. Last year, our reach was over 1.7 million with 95,000 coupons clipped in fourth quarter alone."
For more information:
Crunch Time Apple Growers
Ph: +1 (716) 300-8072