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Hallmark counts down to Christmas with Envy apples

By
Kyle Eberth

Recent Nielsen data for the 24 weeks ending Oct. 9 show Envy is the top-selling premium apple brand driving 25.9 percent dollar sales growth and 23.7 percent volume growth, leaving industry competitors (wait for it) envious.

“We have just finished harvest of another amazing crop of organic and conventional Envy,” said T&G Global’s Chris Willett, vice president of growing and sales operations, North America.  “Harvest conditions were optimal in Washington this year, allowing our growers to harvest the entire Envy crop in excellent condition.

“Envy is an apple with momentum, we have consumers actively seeking the brand out by name at their local grocer," he said. "Growers are also actively interested in adding acreage to their farming portfolio which is another true positive for the consumer and the brand.”

Envy is a very sweet, flavorful apple that is quickly becoming a consumer favorite — as Willett said, delivering the “ultimate apple experience.” Envy was born using natural plant-breeding methods, crossing with Braeburn with Royal Gala apples. T&G Global describes a pure and pristine varietal born out of a genuine work of orchard-growing genius and the company’s annual investment in research and development to optimize growing and storage practices help keep Envy consistently superior above all other apples.  “With its extraordinary crunch and texture, refreshingly sweet palette and beautiful colors — it’s nature’s passport to a magical moment of indulgent time,” said Willett, who said it’s best to “try one and find out” what that means.

With the holiday season fast approaching, there’s no slowing down for Envy, as Willett was excited to announce that for the second consecutive year, Envy apples have joined with the Hallmark Channel and its “Countdown to Christmas,” the network’s popular annual series of all-new original holiday films. Be on the lookout for Envy-specific placements with your Yuletide viewing as T&G hopes this year’s consumers are motivated to pick up their top-selling apples to complement the traditionally prescribed bag of candy canes. The placements will put Envy in front of millions of consumers during the holiday season.

Additionally, Envy apples will be featured on the Very Merry Giveaway, Hallmark’s holiday sweepstakes running through Dec. 26. These cross-promotional efforts highlight T&G’s confidence in the apple, hoping to create significant interest and purchase intent this holiday season.

Envy is promoted by CMI Orchards, Rainier Fruit Co. and Oppy. The team of marketers celebrates the dynamic success of Envy, which stood out in independent sensory testing when place alongside Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp, Gala and Fuji varietals. The trio anticipates ongoing high demand for the new crop.

Willett exudes enthusiasm for Envy and the upward movement of branded apples: “One thing that’s exciting for the apple category — and more importantly retailers and consumers — is the trend toward new and exciting apple varieties,” like Envy, that provide improved quality and a better eating experience. “New varieties are an increasing percent of the overall apple category as older varieties, like Red Delicious and Goldens, are removed and upgraded with new varieties, the consumer experience will improve, resulting in new excitement in the apple category.”

Willett knows the next few years will bring unique challenges for apple growers as production volumes increase, operating costs rise and competition within the produce department accelerates: “The global supply chain challenges particularly impact perishable produce, ensuring we have sufficient freight and vessel capacity to meet export demand is a focus this season.”  T&G is very proud of its 365-supply program, ensuring fresh products from both Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere in the off-season to deliver exceptional Envy year-round. “Our team and supply partners are already planning for the 2022 summer import season, including increased use of charter vessels to best meet demand,” he said. 

While a lot of talk in the global marketplace has recently centered on the challenges associated with the supply chain, inflation and rising labor costs, Willett was emphatic in his optimism: “I’m constantly amazed by the resilience of our team, growers, and supply chain partners who’ve ensured employees’ safety during a unique time, while also providing high-quality, delicious and safe products to the consumer.”  Noting good volumes and great quality, T&G Global looks forward to an excellent Envy season. 

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