Meeting the needs of both retailers and consumers requires flexibility and innovation. As a grower, packer, shipper and developer of premium apples, Honeybear® Brands is keeping a finger on the pulse of the market to ensure it is anticipating the changing shopping habits of consumers and providing options to keep apple sales healthy.
Inflation currently poses a challenge for consumers as they seek ways to stretch their dollars. In response, the company is offering a no-frills “Sweet Deal” option. Key varieties, in varying bag sizes, provide fresh value for consumers triggered by hot buy pricing. “Sweet Deal” offerings are custom packed in a size and spec that best meets the retailer’s need and can be delivered in a 600-pound triwall bin.
The "Sweet Deal" option can be delivered in a 600-pound triwall bin.
“Apples are a hardware produce item. They almost always make it into the shopping basket,” says Don Roper, VP of sales and marketing. “In this high inflation environment, consumers may trade down from higher-priced varieties to lower-priced varieties as they are more mindful of their dollars. As an industry, we must be cognizant of the available dollars for produce purchases and act quickly to provide consumers what they need.”
The idea of something new is appealing, but the flavor must meet a customer’s expectations. Apples are no exception, but it’s not an easy ask. The R&D team at Honeybear Brands works to develop and test new varieties. It introduced Pazazz™ as a signature variety several years ago and it has become a consumer favorite. Pazazz is bred for its bold, bright, flavor (think Honeycrisp with giddy-up) and extended storage capability, which means an extended retail season. This variety maintains its flavor and crunch through the summer months. In consumer testing, self-proclaimed Honeycrisp fans preferred Pazazz over Honeycrisp.
Roper says in this high-inflation environment, consumers may trade down from higher-priced varieties to lower-priced varieties as they are more mindful of their dollars.
First Kiss and Honeymoon
There’s has been a lot of buzz the past couple of seasons about the new First Kiss variety. This early-to-market variety was developed by the University of Minnesota and has an incredible pedigree and taste to match. Born and bred in Minnesota, it’s a result of the state’s perfect apple-growing climate and a descendant of the Honeycrisp.
Honeybear Brands is also in the introductory stages for its new variety, Honeymoon™, a bright, creamy, yellow variety with mellow tropical notes and a nutty finish. The variety is in the beginning stages of introduction and is expected to be more widely available in the next few years. “We are excited to share this new variety with attendees at the Global Produce and Floral Show,” says Roper. Honeybear will offer samples at booth #2363 while they last.