The Pazazz premium apple is ready to shine now that the new year has arrived. This apple is a later harvested variety that is grown in Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, and Nova Scotia. Don Roper of Honeybear Brands shares: “We had a good harvest this year, with strong harvested volumes and a good mix of small and large fruit. Early season sales started in late November but as we now move into the new year, we’re really kicking into high gear with peak flavor.”
The Pazazz apple does especially well at this time of year, as the flavors get better with time, Roper says. “Pazazz is harvested with a little more starch and then spends time in storage which allows the sugars to fully develop. We bring it out of storage during the December-January timeframe because the dynamic sweet tart flavor profile really resonates well with consumers. This strong storing apple’s great flavor last throughout the winter, spring and into the summer months,” he shares.
Expanding markets during the pandemic
Currently, the Pazazz apple is seeing good market penetration in the Northeast, Midwest, South and on the West Coast. “All of our programs in these regions are kicking off now. We are working closely with the retailers to generate excitement and gain attention from the consumers. We have multiple retail programs in place to build awareness, drive consumer trial and adoption of this variety,” Roper says.
With new varieties, trial is especially important. “It’s difficult getting consumers to try new things, but we have a great variety, and our research shows that once a consumer tries Pazazz, there is a high adoption rate,” says Roper. Now, with the pandemic restricting in-store sampling, Honeybear has had to get creative in helping consumers sample Pazazz. “We’ve thought up some innovative approaches to get the consumers to try out Pazazz. For example, we worked with retailers to have a Pazazz apple included for free with online orders. That’s one of the ways we’ve been working around the losses of in-store sampling,” he adds.
At the start of the pandemic, due to the fear and uncertainty people were feeling, many consumers went for the staple, comforting products rather than trying new things. This has now changed, says Roper. “The anxiety about shopping has lessened at this point, so now is the time to start pushing the consumer to try new products. Pazazz does have a good following in certain markets, so now we are working on expanding that with new markets and expanded distribution,” he says.
The benefit of premium apples for retailers
Apples are an important product for retailers, being a big contributor to a store’s overall gross margins, and premium apples expand these benefits even further, according to Roper. “The apple category has two main areas. The first are the mainline varieties which include Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Goldens. Honeycrisps are on their way to becoming a mainline variety. These are the dominate retail varieties that have substantial production; they are commoditized varieties that you can find at any retailer. The premium apples fall under the second area of the apple category, and they are a strong tool to help retailers differentiate themselves from the competition,” Roper explains.
He continues: “With the mainline varieties, there’s often a downwards price pressure as the retailer is competing with the other retailers who stock these varieties. This does not happen for the premium varieties, and the retailers are able to upsell these varieties and increase the efficiency of the apple category. They work to present a strategically deliberate mix of the new apple varieties of different flavor profiles to drive trial. In some stores, apples even rank number one in dollar sales, and in addition to this they also have low shrink, that is why apples are considered a workhorse for the gross margin returns of a retailer and adding premium varieties into the mix only elevates their worth.”
Southern hemisphere production
This year will be the first year that Pazazz will have production in the Southern hemisphere in addition to the US production. Roper shares: “The southern hemisphere production will be fully online for the first year this year, in cooperation with the Frusan Group in Chile. We will have this production available starting in the late summer and in early fall, before our domestic season starts back up in Washington.”
“We are excited about this year’s Pazazz crop. The apples have exceptional eating quality, and we are hoping to continue to grow exposure, sales, and distribution for the Pazazz this year,” Roper concludes.
For more information:
Tel: +1 (919) 610-1916