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Stemilt’s ‘Lil Snappers’ to make big noise at PMA Fresh Summit

Stemilt Growers Inc., headquartered in Wenatchee, WA, plans to pull out the stops this year with the unveiling of its new “Lil Snappers” display at the PMA Fresh Summit 2011.

“We’re going to launch a kid-sized apples campaign,” Roger Pepperl, director of marketing at Stemilt Growers, told The Produce News. “These are apples that eat well when they’re small.”

D’Anjou pears will also be featured as part of the innovative promotion.

Attendees are invited to visit with Stemilt staff at the PMA exposition to get a sneak preview at the campaign, which was designed to increase apple sales at retail and to get a healthy, convenient snack into the smaller hands of children.

“We think this will be a home run for us,” Mr. Pepperl said.

The Lil Snappers campaign features special three-pound product bags. Four apple varieties will be featured as Stemilt moves through its apple season: Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Piñata. D’Anjou pears will be available in special packaging.

Mr. Pepperl said that Lil Snappers bags have pleated bottoms and handles, making them easy to stock and snatch. Stemilt has designed two displays for the campaign. A Euro box holds nine three-pound bags, and the classic-sized display bin holds 12 bags.

“Moms are in a hurry and need to pick up things quickly [in the grocery story],” he said.

Mr. Pepperl was asked why Stemilt decided to move forward with three-pound bags for the campaign.

“We did a beta test last year, and these bags outsold regular three-pound bags,” he replied. “Data studies show smaller bags reduce waste and increase volume in produce departments.”

He added that per pallet, retailers can move more product in a shorter period of time by stocking three-pound bags.

Each bag contains roughly nine to 10 apples, making it ideal for weekly children’s school lunches or a quick, healthful snack at home.

The bag design is also important. The pleated bottom allows the bags to stand up, and handles on top make it easy for consumers to pick up apples at retail and safely store them at home in convenient locations outside “the dreaded produce bin,” Mr. Pepperl noted.

“The bag is more expensive than a poly bag but cheaper than a clamshell,” Mr. Pepperl added. “This is a value-added product.”

Barcodes are located on the bottom of the bag, making it easy for retail cashiers to scan product efficiently at checkout.

Lil Snappers bags, which are recyclable, will feature cartoon characters and high-resolution graphics on top, with a clear view of product on the bag bottom.

“This bag will help market the product, even when it’s in the refrigerator,” he said.

The program is sanctioned by the Produce for Better Health “More Matters” campaign, and bags will carry this campaign logo.

Mr. Pepperl said that a QR code will also be available on packaging, allowing consumers to gain additional access to information about Lil Snappers.

The Stemilt campaign will run through May.