Honeycrisp admirers near and far will have something exciting to look forward to this spring and summer — a longer Honeycrisp season. Washington state-based Stemilt Growers will be expanding its Honeycrisp season through mid-summer with a new brand called Honeyhill.
“Honeyhill is an exciting addition to include in our family of brands as we will be offering one of the most popular apple varieties for a longer timeframe,” said Roger Pepperl, Stemilt marketing director. “We’re choosing the best Honeycrisp apples for Honeyhill boxes, which means retailers can promote fruit with beautiful colors and flavors that taste as if you had just picked them from the tree back in the fall.”
Stemilt is not allowing just any Honeycrisp apple to be packed under the Honeyhill name. Only high-color Honeycrisp apples will qualify for the Honeyhill brand. The main strain that is producing high-color and high-quality Honeycrisp apples late in the season is Royal, a new sport of Honeycrisp apples that is actually quite different than the rest of the pack.
“The Royal Honeycrisp is a beautiful strain with great color and finish. Its real advantage is that our teams can pick full-colored fruit at the right starch levels in order to store well in our controlled atmosphere rooms. When we pull these apples out at a later date, the starches have converted to sugars with good acides that deliver that amazing fall flavor in the spring and summer months. Honeyhill is a great program to build late-season Honeycrisp sales around,” said Pepperl.
Planted in some of Stemilt’s most pristine orchards throughout Washington state, Stemilt’s field team works to ensure each Royal Honeycrisp can maximize it’s time on the tree. The Royal strains ability to color well allows Stemilt to pick the fruit in an ideal window where the fruit starch levels allow it to be stored for long-term success. Stemilt also utilizes shade cloth and windscreens to further care for its Royal Honeycrisp apples.
Designed in-house by Stemilt’s marketing team, the Honeyhill brand and packaging is available in both a standard and euro carton. The high-graphic visuals play off the unique Honeyhill name, including visually fun images. These standard cartons are a made from a varnished box that will make help create eye-catching displays in produce departments everywhere.
“The packaging was designed to highlight the distinctness of this apple strain,” said Pepperl. “The packaging is bold, fun and stimulating, making it a great building tool for your produce department displays.”
Organic Honeycrisp apples are also available and currently being packed under Stemilt’s Artisan Organics label. “We all know organic is a growing category, so packing Honeycrisp both organically and conventionally will result in high sales returns for the retailer,” said Pepperl. “We’re excited about Honeyhill. The fall spice, the sweet, crisp crunch and the juices of the Royal Honeycrisp will please the many fans of Honeycrisp, and continue to elevate the apple category through this premium, sought-after apple.”
Source: Produce News