Northwest fresh pear industry announces 2023 crop estimate and promotions
With harvest underway throughout the four growing regions, Pear Bureau Northwest announces the first estimate of the 2023-24 fresh pear crop for Washington and Oregon. The industry’s fresh pear estimate is 15.2 million standard box equivalents, which is on par with the four-year average.
“Pear growers are in full harvest mode right now hand picking a new crop of beautiful, tasty pears starting with Bartletts and Starkrimson,” said Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of PBNW. “There will be a full range of sizes available, including large-sized fruit as well as smaller sizes to fill the popular pouch bags as well as sizes to fulfill export market demand. Our team has been working hard to initiate innovative and effective promotions to get the season off to a good start. Retailers are engaged and optimistic about the pear season.”
Across all regions, harvest started in late-August for summer varieties like Starkrimson and Bartletts, with growers beginning to pick Bosc, green and red Anjou in early- to mid- September. Specialty pears like Comice, Seckel, Forelle and Concorde pears will also be available in September, to provide an exceptional assortment of unique and flavorful pear choices for shoppers in an array of shapes and colors to enhance any produce department display.
The organic pear estimate is expected to come in at 1.9 million standard boxes equivalents or 12.5 percent of the total projected Northwest crop.
“Our growers and shippers understand that consumers buy with their eyes but flavor is what brings them back for more. The industry is driven to provide consumers with the best possible eating experience,” said Moffitt. “To meet consumer demands for sweet and juicy pears to enjoy one to three days from purchase, the industry continues to expand and promote the conditioning program, which is proven to increase retail sales and enhance the consumer eating experience,” Moffitt said.
Bob Catinella, PBNW director of merchandising, said, “As shoppers continue to adapt to shopping on digital platforms, the Pear Bureau has seen success in reaching consumers online as well as in-store. We’ve been working closely with retailers to introduce new omni-channel programs to motivate purchase.”