According to a recent research study by SHS called FoodThink, the majority of today’s consumers (65 percent) want to know more about where their food comes from. Stemilt is fulfilling that wish with the introduction of a new label for its pears, called "Rushing Rivers," which highlights the company’s position growing and packing pears in two renowned pear locales: the Wenatchee River Valley and Entiat River Valley in Washington state.
With harvest already under way on its 2014 pear crop, Stemilt will begin packing pears in a new "Rushing Rivers" carton. The white box features the Rushing Rivers logo and tagline “the best pear locales in the world,” along with a short story that tells consumers where the pears inside came from and how they were grown.
“Consumers are looking for transparency when it comes to food and fruit, and our pears have a special story to tell,” Roger Pepperl, Stemilt's marketing director, said in a press release. “'Rushing Rivers' pears are born and raised in the premier growing grounds for pears, where the combination of alpine mountains, clean rivers and fertile soils creates the perfect environment for growing clean, high-quality and dessert-flavored pears.”
The Wenatchee River Valley and Entiat River Valley run parallel of each other, separated only by the peaks of the Cascade Mountain range. Stemilt and its long-time pear partners, Peshastin HI-UP Growers, a leading growers cooperative, have been farming pears in these river valleys for decades.
“Pears are right at home in these two valleys,” said Pepperl. “The hillsides protect our trees from the heat of the summer, keeping delicate pears cool and comfortable. Clean air draws down from the mountains through the orchards to keep air flowing through each tree, which results in cleaner fruit. And the rivers in these locales are both recharged each spring by fresh mountain snowpack, delivering a plentiful and pure water sources for our pears.”
Stemilt and HI-UP’s presence in these two pear regions extends beyond their orchards. Each company has its own state-of-the-art pear facility located in the region for packing all of Stemilt’s "Rushing Rivers" pears. HI-UP has two modern packinglines located in Peshastin, WA, and Stemilt’s Miller Street facility in Wenatchee, WA, features two updated packinglines and ThermalTech Tarpless ripening rooms for delivering ready-to-eat pears.
“We grow, pack and ship pears right in these famous pear districts. Stemilt and HI-UP’s strong alignment on pears gives us great packing flexibility and allows us to deliver fresh, flavorful pears to stores most months of the year,” said Pepperl.
To share the Rushing Rivers pears story with consumers, Stemilt created a Rushing Rivers page on its website with a trailer video that tells the story of the pear locales and Stemilt’s rich heritage farming pears there. Now that pears are coming off the tree, Stemilt will expand its consumer storytelling to social media and its blog, The Stem.
Stemilt is also encouraging retailers to tell the story of Rushing Rivers when promoting pears this fall. Rushing Rivers cartons can be used to build prominent displays, and Stemilt can support promotions with signage that builds mystique and romance around its premium quality pears.