Stemilt, Apeel elevate consumers' apple experience
There’s room to keep growing Stemilt’s Artisan Organics brand promise to produce organic fruit that delights consumers. Stemilt Marketing Director Brianna Shales said the company partners with Apeel to improve the consumer experience with crisper apples.
“The organic apple crop is in tighter supply this year, but still an important part of the apple category at 16 percent of total apple dollars nationally. It’s also a growth area for the future of apples,” said Shales. “Stemilt has a long legacy in organics, and many tools up our sleeves to ensure quality, flavor and consistency coincide with the consumer experience for Artisan Organics fruit.”
Apeel plant-based protection is one of those important tools for Stemilt and its Artisan Organics apples. The companies have partnered since 2020 to utilize Apeel proprietary coating on organic apples. Apeel is derived from peels, seeds and pulp of fruits and vegetables, and works by creating an extra peel on the apple that seals moisture in and keeps oxygen out.
“Every step in our organic apple process is about freshness and putting shelf life back in the hands of retailers and consumers,” said Shales. “We have strict harvest and storage protocols for organics and strive to pack fruit fresh to order. We also have Apeel to maintain the crisp texture of apples and increase shelf life once the fruit is packed.”
Recently, a third-party panel of professional evaluators at Washington State University found Apeel-protected organic apples to be crisper than their untreated counterparts at the time apples would typically be in consumers’ homes.
“Crispness is a leading factor of freshness for consumers,” said Ellise Fallon, Apeel’s commercial director of tree fruit. “Apeel’s plant-based protection is proven to keep organic apples crisper for longer, ensuring the ideal eating experience and helping to prevent apples from going to waste. We are proud to support Stemilt’s commitment to delighting customers and creating a more sustainable food system.”
Stemilt has over three decades of experience growing fruit organically. The company grows organic apples in high-density orchards in central Washington. It offers year-round supply on core organic varieties, and aligns its variety mix towards consumer favorites like Honeycrisp, SweeTango and Cosmic Crisp.
“Organics have been a differentiator at Stemilt since 1989, and we continue to build around our Artisan Organics brand,” said Shales. “The organic shopper is a powerhouse purchaser of produce, and especially fruits. In fact, IRI recently reported that apples were a top three organic fruit item last year as organic fruits grew by 11 percent year over year. Elevating the consumer experience is what we aim to do when producing Artisan Organics fruit and that will ultimately drive consumer purchases of organics in the future.”
Retailers can learn more about Artisan Organics and Apeel at Stemilt booth No. 3571 during the Global Fresh Produce & Floral Show in Orlando, FL, Oct. 28-29.