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Sweetango apple crop starts shipping post-labor day

SweeTango® apple growers and packers are urging retailers to place orders now to take advantage of the brand’s marketing plans. Fruit will start shipping right after Labor Day.

A longtime senior buyer for a regional retail leader, Applewood Fresh’s Brian Coates reported he’s seeing a great mix of fruit sizes on the trees, meaning SweeTango shippers will be able to meet retailers’ needs.

Picked bins of SweeTango apples at KC Bailey Farms, a New York state SweeTango grower. Source: KC Bailey Farms.

Retail partners appreciate the support of the brand’s coordinated national and regional marketing programs. “This apple consistently ranks as the top club apple, and a top-10 apple variety, when it’s in the market” in both dollars and volume sold,” said Brianna Shales with SweeTango Western Region sales desk Stemilt Growers.

This year, Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative (NBT) is coordinating a hub-and-spoke marketing strategy that will deploy “push” and “pull” strategies to motivate consumers to purchase.

To alert fans that SweeTango is back in the market, NBT is buying “push” digital video advertisements and radio advertisements geotargeted to SweeTango retailers’ markets. The brand is also partnering with TikTok creators to cultivate new young fans.  

Fowler Farms is sponsoring popular local drag races as part of its regional marketing strategy. Photo: Fowler Farms.

“We are really stepping up our targeted digital advertising and social media to leverage our passionate fan base,” said Jennifer Parkhill, NBT executive director.

Each sales desk will layer on its own regional marketing activities, including working with respective retail partners to customize “pull” promotions and partnering with local influencers. For example: The Eastern region’s Fowler Farms is geotargeting ads to reach their retail partners’ customers, and is sponsoring popular local drag car races.

SweeTango harvest is getting underway coast to coast. Source: Stemilt Growers.

Responding to the pandemic-related rise in popularity of SweeTango’s 2-, 3- and 5-pound pouches, the Western Region’s Stemilt Growers is testing in limited markets a four-pack featuring larger pieces of fruit that typically sell bulk; the package’s materials are sustainably sourced. That four-pack, and an in-store display bin in use in some sales regions, preview a refresh of the brand’s shipping cartons and in-store packaging that will roll out in 2023.

To get SweeTango in front of retailers attending International Fresh Produce Association’s first-ever Global Produce and Floral Show in Orlando in October, brand ambassadors will hand out apples packaged in a single-apple pack at registration.

Early-season pricing for SweeTango is strong, reflecting the strength of the SweeTango crop in light of the smaller overall U.S. apple crop this year.

Retailers can locate sales desks here. In addition, Nova Scotia’s Scotian Gold handles SweeTango sales across Canada.

For more information:
Julia Stewart
Next Big Thing
Tel: +1 (703) 727-8808  

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