Candy-flavored grapes available in stores soon

As the weather in Mexico warms up, candy-flavored grape varieties start to hit the market. “We are in the heart of the storm,” says Michael DuPuis with Divine Flavor. “This week and next week are the heavy weeks in terms of production,” he commented.

The company has been investing in growing candy-flavored varieties like Cotton Candy, Gummyberries (IFG’s Candy Snaps), Jellyberries (Candy Dreams from IFG), Sweet Globe, and Sweet Celebration for several years. Although the company feels it is important to balance the varieties provided, about 50 percent of Divine Flavor’s grape offering is made up of candy-flavored grapes today.

Gummyberries on the left and Alvaro Munoz showing Jellyberries on the right.

Popular varieties
“These varieties are game changers and demand is exceeding our expectations,” DuPuis said. “They are so rewarding for our company as consumers absolutely love them.” Usually, they are available in stores now already, but this year, harvest is slightly delayed. “We needed to wait with harvest until the grapes hit their desired Brix levels. For such popular varieties, we cannot jeopardize flavor and quality as we want consumers to come back for repeat purchases.”

Divine Flavor just received their first shipment of Gummyberries and expects the first shipment of Cotton Candy next week. “We are the largest supplier of Mexican Cotton Candy grapes and once we get into the week of June 20, volume will ramp up.” The company is also receiving their first shipments of Jellyberries, which has been a popular grape over the past few seasons. Per DuPuis, this grape has been exceeding retailers’ expectation. He is confident the later start will be worth the wait for both retailers and consumers across North America.

Michael DuPuis looking at Sweet Globe grapes.

Extension of season
The Mexican grape season is a short one with about 10 weeks to ship an estimated 22 million boxes. For Divine Flavor harvest started in the Guaymas region, about two hours south of Hermosillo. From there, production moved to Pesqueira, La Costa, and then, the season will finish in Caborca. Harvest in the Caborca region, where Sweet Celebration and Sweet Globe are the main varieties, will start towards the end of next week.

“We’ve invested in property that allows us to harvest the latest part of the season in Caborca, at the very end of the Sonora program , before the monsoons start,” commented DuPuis. This allows Divine Flavor to extend the window of availability and harvest right until California’s Central Valley grape season starts. “In Caborca, we will harvest until the 2nd or 3rd week of July. The combination of a short season and lots of volume to move makes this year a great one to extend our window of availability.”

Alvaro Munoz proudly shows a pouch bag with Jellyberries.

For more information:
Michael DuPuis
Divine Flavor
Tel: +1 (520) 281-8328

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