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Honeybear Brands excited to showcase premium products at Fresh Summit

Elgin, MN-based Honeybear Brands is looking forward to PMA Fresh Summit this year for two key reasons: first, to catch up with customers and colleagues, and second, to showcase its premium products.

“This is a great opportunity to visit with our retail partners, meet new retailers, and visit with many of the good people that work throughout the supply chain,” Don Roper, vice president of sales and marketing for Honeybear, told The Produce News in late September.

“Everyone gets to see first-hand who we are and what we are all about. They get to experience the Honeybear Brand promise — premium products, integrity, knowledge and service.”

Cubbies-Gala Roper noted that one of the most fulfilling parts of the company’s job is to “build and nurture lifetime relationships across the supply chain.”

“As a family-owned private business, we get to put our partners first, do great work for them, and build lifetime relationships,” he said.

Honeybear Brands will be at Booth No. 3957 on the PMA Fresh Summit trade show floor, where it will be showcasing “the best apples in the industry,” Roper said.

“The star of the show will be our Pazazz apple, which is entering its biggest year yet of production and we will showcase several new varieties that have been or are about to be commercialized this year,” he added.

The Pazazz apple is Honeybear’s newest variety, which has now been in commercialization for the last three years. It’s flavor profile is “bold, bright and incredibly juicy,” according to Roper. “Folks tell us all the time that it tastes like a Jolly Rancher candy,” he exclaimed.

Honeybear is looking forward to kicking off its season with November shipments of Pazazz apples, which should be in retail stores all winter and spring.

“It gives our retail partners a great opportunity to differentiate themselves in a marketplace that is overloaded with the average mainline varieties,” Roper said.

Honeybear Brands will also be featuring its new conventional packaging in cubbie pouches along with matching shipper display bins at its booth during Fresh Summit.

“Test marketing of the new ‘cubbie’ pouch product lines have been an instant hit,” Roper said. “The high-graphic, direct message ‘cubbie’ pouches, complimented by our Honeybear shipper bins, have added extra excitement to the apple aisle.”

Because of the positive response from consumers for these high-graphic packages, Honeybear is also updating its organic pouch program, which compliments the continued expansion of all its organic offerings.

And in more exciting news, Roper added that Honeybear has over 200 apple varieties in various stages of testing and commercialization.

“Apples are like wine,” Roper said. “There are thousands of combinations to develop and varieties can really cater to any consumer’s pallet. We are pursing this challenge on a daily basis and it is one we thoroughly enjoy.”

Honeybear’s most recent commercializations include Riverbelle and Pazazz, but the company also has a new butter yellow apple that is getting high marks from its tier of first testers and critics.

“The beauty of this apple is that it has high shine and a creamy butter yellow appearance,” Roper noted. “It’s a naturally clean apple and the flavor is a contrast by design with intense tropical flavors and aromas, blended with a nutty finish — it really is a delight!”