Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers is introducing some new pear packaging options this season.
“We will have a new pouch bag for red Anjou pears this year,” said National Marketing Representative Dan Wohlford. “This is another option for retailers to capture sales on this pear variety that is growing in popularity. We also have a ‘Pears-To-Go’ bin that highlights all the pear varieties on the bin that fits well in any produce department, either as a standalone display or as a ‘waterfall’ off the produce rack.”
The company is headquartered in Wenatchee, WA.
“The pear category is actually a growth category here lately,” Wohlford told The Produce News. “Consumers are understanding just how versatile and tasty pears are. And I think its younger people who are leading the charge. That bodes well for the category. Consumers, particularly families with young kids, are becoming pear shoppers. Kids like the sweet, juicy flavors that pears offer.”
Turning to the production season, he said conditions have been great. “We have received rain at just the right time and sunny warm days when we needed them, too,” he commented.
Oneonta expects its overall volume, all conventional, to be up this season when compared to 2013-14 production. “Acreage is pretty stable. Not a lot of trees planted, and not a lot taken out,” he said.
Wohlford said the harvest will begin with Starkrimson and Bartletts around the second week of August, moving to Red Anjou at the end of August, and Green Anjou in early September. “We are looking for sizing to be in the ranges that are very promotable at retail: 70s-80s; then 90s-100s,” he added.
Oneonta is planning to look at a new packingline next year.