California’s mandarin/clementine season is heading into the thick of its season with a number of varieties on the go. “We’re picking W. Murcotts very heavily and we have a few Tangos that we’re also picking. And this is our first year shipping Gold Nuggets as well,” says Linda Cunningham of Dinuba, Ca.-based Classic Harvest Produce. “We’ll probably be going until the end of April, maybe the first week in may which is the usual timing for us.”
The company’s navel volumes should be up about 25% this season. Volumes of other citrus varieties will likely be up 15%. In addition to the Elmo navels, Classic Harvest expects to ship: Mandarin bags featuring Cookie Monster; Blood oranges featuring Count; Lemons featuring Oscar; Minneolas featuring Ernie; Cara caras featuring Grover; Grapefruit featuring Big Bird; and Meyer lemons featuring Bert. “The 2015-2016 season was our second year in the market, and we surpassed our production goals,” Jennifer Westerhoff, executive vice president of Classic Harvest, said in the release. “This year we are excited to add acreage and new growers, which adds volume for Eat Brighter! and availability for our customers.”
“The demand for imported citrus during the summer increases every year, and I think that's reflective of demand for domestic fruit,” said Linda Cunningham of Classic Harvest Produce. “Big marketing programs are driving a lot of demand at the retail level, and that's helping move summer imports.”
On a more tactical, anecdotal plane, an eat brighter! retailer-supplier pair detailed their results from a March promotion aimed at families with younger children. Linda Cunningham of citrus supplier Classic Harvest and Bryan Roberts of Save-A-Lot stores teamed up for a promotion of value-priced bags of naval oranges featuring iconic Sesame Street character Elmo. Classic Harvest’s bags were promoted in 1,300–1,400 stores, and both of them reported great success. - See more at: http://www.producebusinessuk.com/marketing-pr/marketing-pr-stories/2016/08/09/the-promotional-campaign-brightening-up-the-bottom-line#sthash.86V8pDRF.dpuf
“Classic Harvest is a young company, and we don’t have millions of dollars to spend on branding,” Cunningham said. “We wanted to brand our products with recognizable characters; eat brighter! is an affordable option, and PMA has done all the legwork. Millennial moms know the characters, because they grew up with Sesame Street, and the artwork really resonates with children.”
Suppliers and retailers like you have seen great success after incorporating eat brighter! into their packaging artwork, store signage and more. Linda Cunningham of Classic Harvest and Bryan Roberts of Save-A-Lot told us how they helped each other leverage the power of the Sesame Street brand and characters with eat brighter! packaging. Watch and read their story below!
Linda Cunningham, president of Classic Harvest, Paramus, N.J., which markets citrus for Wes Pak, says the company’s promotion with Sesame Street’s Eat Brighter has been successful, and the company plans to continue using it.
PMA PMA posted a video,"Classic Harvest and 'eat brighter!' Success Story" on YOUTUBE
At PMA’s recent Fresh Connections: Retail, we heard from an eat brighter! citrus shipper, Classic Harvest, and retailer Save-A-Lot, which worked together on a value-priced bag of oranges featuring Elmo to target moms and kids, especially WIC recipients. They had a great success. Those moms saw that their supermarket cared about them and their families. Work with your suppliers in the same way to build excitement and sales in produce.
Q: What do you envision for your career in five years? A: Within our company, we are innovative, forward thinkers so it is always exciting to see what we will be pushing ahead with next. Currently, we are putting together new go-to- market strategies we’ll be rolling out over the next few years. We also have expansion plans in motion on our harvesting side that will signifi - cantly increase our California citrus production and tree fruit production over the next four years. We will be continuing to grow our import offerings on both the West and East coast. We will continue to strive to be the best we can on sustainability for our agricultural future and continue efforts with social responsibility.