Due to very favorable weather for table grapes in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, the growing season for Hronis Inc. is off to an early start this year, according to a written statement from the company to The Produce News. “The company is fully integrating the most client-requested packaging to help accommodate retailers’ needs.”
Pete Hronis, vice president of sales and marketing, said in the statement that Hronis Inc. will begin packaging in the last week of June this year, approximately 10 days earlier than usual, due mainly to the weather. “The weather for growing table grapes has been great this year,” he said.
“Customers are demanding many of our new varieties this year, like Autumn King and Scarlet Royal,” Hronis said.
Varieties will lead off with Sugraone green seedless, according to the statement. The company’s green varieties, which will be available through the end of the California table grape season, include Princess, Thompson and Autumn. Red seedless varieties are Flame for summer, Scarlet Royal and Sweet Scarlet, available from summer into fall, and Ruby and Crimson, which will carry through to the end of the year. Red Globe seeded grapes will be available August through December. The company’s black seedless varieties include Summer Royal, available until September, and Autumn Royal, available September through December.
Packaging at Hronis has taken an interesting turn as well, according to Hronis. “All bags packed this year will be gusset or ‘handle bags,’ due to such great response during our trials last year and advance requests this year.” he said. “That is what retailers want now. They are easier to pick up and place in a cart and very easy for a cashier to handle at check-out. And the store displays they are creating with the handle bags are quite eye-catching.”
Hronis Inc., is using equipment and systems designed “to make sure our table grapes are 100 percent, fully PTI compliant,” Hronis said in the statement “Bar codes on all outgoing boxes give the fruit specific date, lot and grade information.”
“We are also continuing to mark bags, where possible, so they are variety-specific instead of generic to help consumers know the varieties they are purchasing and know what to expect so they can find favorites in the future,” he said. “We are also adding the fruit’s seasonal availability. Customers will know they are getting Princess green seedless table grapes and will know they are available to enjoy August through September. “
Anticipating that the wonderful growing conditions seen so far in the southern San Joaquin Valley this year will continue, “the quality of what we will harvest looks to be outstanding this year,” Hronis said in the statement. The company expects large grape and large bunch sizes.
The number of boxes the Hronis Inc. ships “will be on track with and probably higher than last year’s increased shipments,” he said.
Further volume growth is expected in future seasons “as the family-owned-and-operated growing, packing and shipping company continues to expand its acreage. All Hronis produce is grown on family-owned land, a tradition held to since the company was founded in 1945,” according to the statement.
Recent facility updates “will help streamline the increased volume at Hronis Inc.,” according to the statement.
“We doubled the amount of fruit we can receive on a daily basis through modifications to our receiving line.” Hronis said in the statement. “Improvements to the cold storage and shipping facility include additional wrapping machines” as well as pallet-handling equipment and conveyors.