Record US Kanzi® apple harvest launches 2017 season

A record Kanzi® apple harvest has growers thinking big about conventional and organic new-crop opportunities. CMI Orchards, one of only two U.S. growers licensed to grow Kanzi®, is projecting a total increase of 120 percent for the coming season - this includes a 400 percent increase in organic Kanzi®. Applewood Orchards, Inc. the second Kanzi® grower located in Michigan, reports an even larger production jump of over 150 percent of conventional apples. 

Nielsen supermarket scan data shows Kanzi® was one of the biggest apple success stories last season, generating a dollar gain of 66 percent, selling in roughly 9,000 U.S. supermarkets.

“We’re so excited to be launching the 2017 Kanzi® season,” said George Harter, Vice President of Marketing for CMI Orchards. “U.S. consumers are fast discovering why Kanzi® is one of the hottest apples in Europe. With our big crop, we’ll be running aggressive promotions with retail partners throughout the season.”

Harter notes that feedback from supermarket executives has been extremely enthusiastic. 

“There really isn’t another apple on the market today with the flavor intensity of Kanzi®,” said Harter. “Retailers tell us that once consumers try it they come back to the store time and time again. These repeat purchases really drive category sales throughout the season.” Harter added that the addition of Kanzi® to CMI’s Daisy Girl Organics program is a huge opportunity for retailers to leverage the success of the #1 selling organic apple brand in the U.S.A.

Scott Swindeman of Applewood Orchards, Inc. reports outstanding weather during August and September enhanced fruit size and delivered a crop he is excited to bring to U.S. supermarkets. “Beyond the unique flavor of Kanzi®, retailers tell us they love how this apple stands out on supermarket shelves. What we’ve learned is the fire engine red and bright yellow background color of Kanzi® really catches the eye of the consumer.”

Steve Lutz, Senior Strategist for CMI Orchards, notes that Kanzi® and other branded apples now play a key role in driving overall category growth for retailers. “Best in Class retailers are now driving up to 15 percent of category sales with branded apples like Kanzi® by changing the varietal mix. The most successful retailers are very strategic in merchandising because they know the value of shifting consumer purchases up to high-flavor, higher-priced branded apples like Kanzi®. The net result is they move their mix away from low cost commodity apples into higher cost premium apples. Even small shifts in volume drive strong increases in total dollars.”

“On average, Kanzi® delivers a price premium for retailers that is 46 percent above the apple category average,” said Lutz. “Every time a consumer discovers Kanzi® it drives incremental category dollars.”
Harter notes that CMI has developed new retail tools for Kanzi® to support stronger in-store merchandising. “For our 2017/2018 season we have our new “Ship ‘n’ Shop”™ Kanzi® retail display bin. We developed this bin to give retailers a quick and easy tool to build powerful, off-shelf displays.”

“The Ship ‘n’ Shop™ display bin sets up in 10 minutes and ships with 16 euro cases of Kanzi®,” said Harter. “It eliminates a common problem for supermarket merchandisers by ensuring the fruit and the display materials arrive in the store at the same time. The strong graphics help retailers alert shoppers that new-crop Kanzi® is finally back.”

Kanzi® apples are available now from CMI Orchards in Washington State and Applewood Orchards, Inc. in Michigan.

Linda McFarland 
CMI Orchards

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