Applewood Fresh gears up for flavorful Michigan harvest
Applewood Fresh, a premier produce brand and fourth-generation grower-packer-shipper-marketer of Michigan-grown apples is counting down the days to the start of its flavorful harvest, with Rave and SweeTango leading the way.
Outrageously juicy with a refreshing snappy zing, Rave apples are part Honeycrisp and part MonArk. They have that infamous Honeycrisp bite, but harvest a few weeks earlier than other apple varieties. MN55 cultivar apples were bred naturally through traditional cross-pollination methods by David Bedford at the University of Minnesota’s apple-breeding program. The company has grown the juicy, early season Honeycrisp-meets-MonArk cross for the past four years. Availability is expected to grow exponentially in 2021 and beyond. Rave is only available for a limited time each year. Look for Rave from mid-August through October,” said Scott Swindeman, managing owner of Applewood Fresh.
Applewood Fresh expects a similar production to last year for SweeTango. As the lead marketer in the Midwest for the variety that also comes from the University of Minnesota breeding program, Applewood Fresh promotes the marriage of the Honeycrisp and Zestar! varieties in SweeTango for its standout flavor and texture. SweeTango is expected to start shipping in Michigan around Sept. 2.
Applewood Fresh offers bulk packaging in standard and Euro tray pack cartons, as well as several packaged options: two- and three-pound pouch, three-pound poly bags and tote bags to fit the new trend of increased packaged apple sales. “Retailers should promote packaged fruit and merchandise in lead-off positions in their produce departments to drive sales. Customers are looking for quick grab and go solutions as they navigate the store to expedite their shopping trip,” said Brian Coates, vice president of sales and business development.
To help retailers drive sales, both in-store and online digital marketing tools have been developed to support the flavorful harvest. “With the help from managed variety partners and The Produce Moms, the ready-to-use marketing campaigns include display ads, fresh content for social media, up-to-date promotional calendars, sales and merchandising strategy guides, delicious recipes, e-books and much more,” said Antonia Mascari, vice president of marketing for Applewood Fresh.