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Oppy’s Jazz and Envy start off strong in new year

By
Kyle Eberth

The success of Envy apples among retailers and consumers has been well-established, but “the consistent-eating JAZZ apple is also a star, with great support from major retailers,” said Roger Aguirre, director of apples and pears at Oppy.

The company is proud of the markets it has created  over the years for branded apples. “We have the best minds at T&G and Oppy,” Aguirre said, “finding what works to move the dial for these great varieties.”

Formerly known as The Oppenheimer Group, Oppy, based out of Coquitlam, British Columbia, is a world-renowned grower and distributor of fresh produce.  This year, however, challenges related to shipping and logistics were unparalleled. “As the shipping crisis continues to affect the whole world, it contributed to the longest import season I have seen in my career in produce,” said Aguirre.

The group had to be creative and persistent. “As difficult as it was, our team pulled together to keep the momentum chugging along,” said Aguirre. Oppy and Aguirre are thankful to have that in the rear-view. “Now that that’s all in the clear, we’re looking ahead to a great year of supply from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres with year-round promotions.”

January promotions always focus on healthy living. “There will be a healthy eating push for both Envy and JAZZ with healthful recipes and general nutritional content for the apples — staying satiated between meals, snacking and their health benefits,” Aguirre said. As healthy resolutions will be top-of-mind for consumers and retailers, Aguirre emphasized, “We have partnerships with in-store nutritionists and dieticians to connect to the consumer.”  Both Envy and Jazz apples will be heavily promoted in alignment with March Madness.

Aguirre said Envy will also be heavily promoted during Valentine’s Day, “as it aligns so well with its vibrant red coloring, sweetness, and resistance to browning on the charcuterie board.”  He went on to add, “Cabot Cheese and Envy apples also are trialing a co-branded merchandising and promotional partnership during February and March with the intent to drive consumption and cross-category sales of two mouth-watering and award-winning premium products.”

While it’s hard to recall the last summer’s blistering heat as snow flies in the Pacific Northwest, Aguirre noted the heat certainly had some effect. “We had quite a hot summer so we know our time frame will be a bit short, but we anticipate there will be no gap in supply when retailers transition between countries of origin.” Oppy can leverage year-round fruit with its growers in Chile, New Zealand and Washington state.

Regarding the fruit quality itself, Aguirre said, “Envy likes to grow big, and there is a good market for its sizing both export and domestic.”  Oppy has a full range of complements for the program with more small sizes this season. “Jazz trends smaller,” said Aguirre, “but we have some prime retail sizing from 64, 72 and 80s as well.”

Aguirre was proud to celebrate his people: “Our team is doing a wonderful job pushing these exceptional-eating apples with a range of promotions and demos in place across North America,” and is proud of the top-performing fruit Oppy offers. “Our No. 1 priority is providing the best-eating apple to the consumer.”

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