Volumes of grapes are still steady out of California.
“This month, we will have strong volumes of all colors of grapes to take care of our customers everyday and promotional needs,” says Mitch Wetzel, vice-president of sales and marketing for Sunview Marketing International in McFarland, CA.
Currently Sunview’s grapes are grown and distributed out of California’s Central Valley. “Now that the Central Valley of California season is well underway, the overall table grape crop looks to be slightly lighter this year,” says Wetzel. “The red grape availability appears to be lighter this year with supply varying on a week-to-week basis. Conversely the green grape supply is greater than last year at this time but shipping well.”
As for varieties, Sunview’s grape line up includes the Stella Bella®, Sparkle™, Gem®, Rosa®, Sorella Bella® and Sweet Carnival™. “Our golden seedless brand, Sweet Carnival will be stronger than ever this season,” says Wetzel. “Since the end of last year, we have been receiving constant inquiries from consumers on its availability. Starting this month, we will be harvesting and shipping this brand of grapes to all corners of the globe.”
Growth on organics continues
Also seeing strong interest from consumers is the organic grape category and Wetzel says Sunview’s organic grape supplies continue to grow in volume in turn.
Notably, differentiation is becoming increasingly important in the grape category which, like apples, is seeing a number of specialty proprietary varieties to appeal to consumers’ tastes. “In-store displays on the Sweet Carnival brand continue to play an important part in not only educating consumers about Sunview’s proprietary brands but also in driving incremental volume. The brand will also be supported by in-store displays and merchandising as well as social media,” says Wetzel, noting Sunview has displays available for Stella Bella and organic grapes as well.
As for pricing, Wetzel says retail price points this year are trending higher than last year.