My wife bakes. We’re not talking about an occasional brownie mix, but serious ‘scratch’ baking. Add to that she is a perfectionist in this segment of her life. Last weekend we had to make nearly an hour trip to one of the few apple orchards that grows Wealthy variety apples. This orchard has only a couple of trees left and last year they produced less than a bushel total. This year we scored a half-bushel from the early picking. The first pie was spectacular!
So, having consumed too much pie over the weekend and then traveling on Monday, I vowed to eat healthier. At the airport I picked up an apple at the newsstand. There were Red Delicious and Granny Smith; both were fresh, shiny and full hand sized. It was quite impressive for the venue.
On the flight I was reading some captivating produce statistics (captivating might be a stretch). The fresh sliced apple category last year was just under $500 million in sales. Think about that for a minute. That item didn’t even exist 10 years ago and now it is nearing a half billion dollars in sales. Look around and you will find individual pieces of fresh produce for sale in convenience stores, gas stations and football stadiums.
What else can we do as an industry to promote our products into non-traditional venues? Packaging technology and distribution systems have helped foster the environment for change, but it still takes good old fashioned promotion to turn an idea into a success story. What is the next success story going to be?