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Sage Fruit Co., headquartered in Yakima, WA, will talk about a number of exciting marketing programs during Southern Exposure 2013. The company will be available at booth 1014 and will be represented by Chuck Sinks, president of sales and marketing; Chuck Yow, vice president of sales for the Southeastern region; and Kevin Steiner, vice president of sales for the Northeast.

SageFruitMr. Sinks said the venue is an important one. “The SPC is well attended by retailers, wholesalers and many Sage partners,” he told The Produce News Jan. 28. “We value this event to meet with existing customers, display our unique programs, network with potential customers and discuss industry issues with other shippers in like categories.”

Sage Fruit is currently rolling out its “Sage Sweet” pressure- and brix-tested apples, and this is expected to be a hot topic of discussion. “This program allows retailers to guarantee crunch and sweet apples to their consumers in the spring and summer months,” Mr. Sinks stated.

Another winner for the company is its “Biggest Loser” program. “We have merchandising tools, ad art work and ‘The Biggest Loser’ label available in several packaging options,” Mr. Sinks continued. “‘The Biggest Loser’ is one of the most popular brands, and the show airs on NBC weekly. This program allows our customers to take advantage of this popular show and is a healthy lifestyle message that consumers relate to and purchase. ‘The Biggest Loser’ is also available in other categories, allowing retailers to brand their ads under ‘The Biggest Loser.’”

Sage Fruit continues its business relationship with Kasey Kahne, the highly acclaimed race car driver. “We have examples of Kasey Kahne packaging and merchandising tools available for ads featuring a NASCAR driver,” Mr. Sinks said. “This program is geared toward the racing season which moves from region to region throughout the year. This offers retailers promotional opportunities in one of the most brand loyal sports.”

The company also has programs geared toward the younger set. “Kids in Force promotes a healthy lifestyle and rewards children for good eating habits and proper exercise. Kids In Force [point of purchase material], merchandising tools and packaging options are available,” he added. “Kids can log onto www.sagefruit.com and submit their healthy activities and healthy eating habits to win free gifts such as frisbees, basketballs and footballs.”

Crazy Apples, which also promote healthy snacks for children, have been a real hit. “Crazy Apples are an infused flavored apple that does not compromise the integrity of the fruit, but flavors the fruit to its core,” Mr. Sinks commented. Crazy Apples are available in bubble gum, tropical blast and pomegranate grape flavors. “There is no sugar or preservatives added, and Crazy Apples have the exact same nutritional value as any unflavored apple.”

Sage Fruit is the exclusive U.S. marketer of the Sonya apple variety, which is available throughout the year. The company offers point of purchase material and provides merchandising tools that help its customers differentiate themselves from their competition.

Mr. Sinks said Sage will have fruit, including the Sonya, at its booth. “Everyone is welcome to come by to see our fruit and try our premium quality,” he said. During Southern Exposure, Sage Fruit will roll out new and improved “Sage Sweet” packaging and labeling including expanding offerings into the tray pack/bulk fruit category.