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Stemilt Growers recently unveiled a pair of promotions designed to help retailers sell apples and pears during the fall and winter months.

The What a Pear promotion is new this year, while Crunch before Lunch was given a fresh design since Stemilt originally launched it back in January 2008.

According to Roger Pepperl, marketing director at Stemilt, the What a Pear promotion pairs a classic pear variety with a cheese that complements the fruit's distinct flavor. Stemilt created four point-of-sale cards for the promotion, each featuring a different pear and cheese. The four pairings are red D'Anjou pears with brie cheese, Bartlett pears with gouda cheese, D'Anjou pears with goat cheese, and Bosc pears with white aged cheddar.

Mr. Pepperl recommended that retailers feature a different pairing each month throughout the fall and winter in order to maintain consumer interest and drive category sales.

"The pear category has untapped potential -- there are plenty of opportunities to reach new customers," Mr. Pepperl said in a press release. "This promotion entices shoppers to purchase pears by giving them a new way to incorporate the fruit into their diets."

To complement the What a Pear program, Stemilt is putting an emphasis on its conditioned pear program. Stemilt was an early adopter of a ripening program, which was later trademarked "RipeRite."

"Consumers shouldn't have to wait for pears to ripen at home," Mr. Pepperl added in the press release. "In fact, ripened pears enhance the eating experience, which increases consumer satisfaction. Furthermore, data shows that carrying conditioned pears can increase sales by 16 percent."

For fall apples, Stemilt is reintroducing its popular Crunch before Lunch promotion, which is based on 2007 research findings from Penn State University that found people who ate a whole apple 15 minutes before lunch could consume fewer calories overall.

During the five-week study, researchers looked at how calorie consumption fluctuated as a group of normal-weight adults snacked on different apple products, including juice, sauce and whole apples just before eating lunch. Another group of participants did not receive a snack before lunch. On average, the participants who ate a whole apple before lunch consumed nearly 190 fewer calories than those that snacked on something else, or didn't snack at all.

The newly designed Crunch before Lunch promotion highlights a few of the health attributes that consumers can obtain from eating apples. The signage (11x7 point-of-sale cards and 22x28 posters) has a color scheme similar to the What a Pear promotion and other pieces from Stemilt's fall merchandising collection so that retailers can easily integrate the materials into several promotions this year.

"The What a Pear and Crunch before Lunch promotions are great for retailers because they fit with multiple varieties, including conventional or organic," Mr. Pepperl said in the press release. "Crunch before Lunch brings attention to health and nutrition, a popular topic among Americans today, while the What a Pear promotion appeals to the curious consumer by providing them with a unique snack tip that is fun and easy to recall."