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A $41.6 mln. category

Date yields up 20 percent over last year

Medjool date volumes are up over 20% in total harvest yield versus a year ago and numbers keep increasing. “This is due to the fact that our growers have been planning and planting consistently over the past decade,” said Erin Hanagan-Muths with Bard Valley Date Growers. “Our growing season here in the Bard Valley region was exceptional this year, with high heat and low humidity. We also were lucky to not have any of the monsoon activity cross our paths during this season. As of today, the fruit looks amazing.”

Meeting demand for growth
Dates are a $41,618,336 category; Bard Valley Date Growers has had double-digit growth in the yield of its groves. Medjool dates account for 71.6% dollar share of the entire date category. To meet the demand for growth, Hanagan-Muths says the company has continued to invest in the growth and advancement of its production facilities, bringing in state of the art sorting and packing equipment. Current offerings include Natural Delights Medjool Dates, Natural Delights Pitted Medjool Dates, Natural Delights Organic Medjool Dates, Natural Delights Coconut Date Rolls, Natural Delights Almond Date Rolls, and Natural Delights Pumpkin Spiced Date Rolls (seasonal availability).

Repositioning the category
Dates may have a more traditional perception so Bard Valley Date Growers is working to change the perception of the category as a great snack – not just for baking. “While they’ve long been a secret weapon of elite athletes looking for sustained energy and muscle recovery, the average consumer didn’t view the fruit as an energy snack,” said Hanagan-Muths. “(This) comes at a time when we are experiencing dramatic shifts in the way we eat and what consumers value out of their food.” 

Repositioning dates from a baking ingredient to an energy and performance snack is marked by a new website for their distribution areas: U.S., Canada and Australia. “The new site features consumer-oriented lifestyle video content, fresh recipes, inspiring imagery and high-performance content that will connect with a youthful, health-minded consumer and help the brand be more influential at retail,” said Hanagan-Muths. “We have 80% of the date category share and 10x the sales rate of all other brands combined.” In 2017, the company plans to deliver more original content with an eye towards building emotional connections and inspiring healthy, active lifestyles.

“Naughty and Nice” campaign
During the 2017 holiday period the Natural Delights brand will be executing its final national consumer promotion for 2016. “Naughty and Nice” is an annual holiday recipe promotion that celebrates the many ways Natural Delights can make holiday gatherings special. The campaign connects with consumers who are interested in healthy snacking, fitness, home cooking and holiday entertaining.

For more information:
Erin Hanagan-Muths
Bard Valley Date Growers 
Tel: 928 344-2685