One high-flavor grape is moving through the season with a serious spike in supplies.
The Sweet Carnival™ brand of grape from Sunview Marketing International in McFarland, CA started in 2018 with sample volumes and then moved to commercial volumes last year. “This year we have the volume to supply full national programs.” says Sunview’s Mitch Wetzel.
The grape is part of the distinct and often premium segment of high-flavor grapes that has been shown to grow the entire grape category. “We’re really pleased with the performance of this grape. It’s very firm and our field staff are working well with quality control to ensure the fruit is a golden color at harvest and that we’re hitting our Brix and lower acid numbers to get the eating experience right and the flavor pop,” says Wetzel. “Our whole breeding program is driven around texture and crispness. In the high-flavored category, some of the grapes are softer and mushier while ours have a crisp texture to them.”
Along with a conventional offering, Sunview also has an organic crop running at virtually the same time. “There are a few weeks in the front and back end when we don’t have both. But for most of the season, we have both offerings,” says Wetzel. “The organic volumes are letting retailers and customers focused on the organic side of the business get into a high-flavored space.”
Consistency is key
The California grapes are grown in a variety of regions to ensure consistent supply of product. “We have vineyards from the South end of the San Joaquin Valley up to well north of Delano and even out into the coastal areas. The product is strategically placed to spread the season out for the grapes,” says Wetzel.
At the same time, Wetzel notes that demand is strong for Sweet Carnival™ grapes. “We’re pretty close to matching pre-season demand with what the crop looks like,” he says, noting that pricing is the same as last year. “We’re always trying to expand into different markets and we always have a little bit of fruit left to do that. But overall demand is really matching where production is.”
To differentiate the grapes in store, Sunview plays on the carnival theme and the sweet treats often enjoyed at carnivals. “We’re also supporting our customer base with in-store displays that look like a carnival cart that they can set the fruit into,” he says, adding that they are also doing point-of-sale materials as well as social media campaigns with retail partners.
For more information:
Sunview Marketing International
Tel: +1 (661) 792-3141