The Pacific NW organic pear crop looks promising, as estimates point to an increase in volume over last year. The organic crop looks to be up from last year, with most varieties seeing volume increases. This is welcome in a year where much of northwest tree fruit volume has been down.
Left to right: organic Bartlett pears, organic Bosc pears.
“We have a strong market position this crop year with our organic pear crop accounting for 40 percent of all NW organic pears,” says Cat Gipe-Stewart, director of marketing. “The organic pear crop is up with annual cycling and an increased transition to certified organic orchards. We are especially focusing on promotions for organic Bartlett and organic red pears. Sizing looks to be two sizes smaller this year on summer pears (red and green Bartlett and Starkrimson). We are optimistic in winter pear sizing up a bit more before September and October harvest.”
Fall is an important time to merchandise new-crop pears and excite the consumer about what to expect for the year. Last fall, organic pears accounted for 11 percent of the pear category sales (Nielsen data, last four weeks, 10-9-21). “With a larger organic pear crop, we hope to continue to grow this percentage of the whole category,” says Gipe-Stewart.
“With a larger organic pear crop, we hope to continue to grow this percentage of the whole category,” says Gipe-Stewart.
The whole NW pear crop is estimated to be slightly up year-over-year, further strengthening the organic pear category. “There will be opportunities to promote all varieties of pears. Multi-color promotions are important to help with movement and excite consumers into trying new varieties. We have found that if consumers are a green pear heavy user, they are more likely to purchase a Bosc or red pear if it’s on promo at the same time as a green pear,” says Gipe-Stewart.
The Superfresh Growers organic pear season started in late August, with organic Bartlett and Starkrimson pears. The crop will continue harvesting through October and into early November, pending geography and variety.