Stemilt Growers is tapping into the growing crowd of people who juice and blend their fruits and vegetables with the launch of Fresh Blenders, a product line of five-pouch bags for both sweet and tart apple varieties. The company plans to introduce the high-graphic, blender-shaped package in a big way at the PMA Fresh Summit show in Anaheim, CA, with displays at Booth No. 3154, a feature in the New Products Showcase and free juice sampling at a food truck outside the convention center on Saturday.
According to NPD Group data from May 2013, blenders, juicers and food processors are the top-growing small kitchen appliance category, with blenders and juice extractors contributing to more than $ 1 billion in sales in 2013. The popularity in juicing and smoothies spills over onto the Web with terms like “smoothie recipes” earning an average of 110,000 Google searches a month.
“Juicing and blending smoothies at home has taken off in recent years, and continues to grow in popularity among consumers across all age demographics,” Roger Pepperl, Stemilt marketing director, said in a press release. “Apples are the perfect base ingredient to any juice or smoothie creation. They offer sweet and tart flavors, nutrition in the form of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, and when blended, a nice foamy consistency. Fresh Blenders is the perfect platform to directly market to this crowd and deliver them a great grab-and-go value pack.”
The Fresh Blenders package is different from any five-pound bag of apples on the market today. The resealable pouch bag is long and narrow — just like a blender — and designed to stand up vertically for easy display at retail and in the refrigerator at home. The bright color of both the sweet and tart bags catch the eye, while the tagline “the natural start to any juice or smoothie,” and a large illustrated blender filled with apples and other popular blending vegetables tells the consumer exactly how to use the fruit inside the bag at home. The bags are shipped in a Fresh Blenders display-ready carton with a lid that pops off easily.
“The packaging is bright and fun, and the case it ships in self-stacks for building a quick display at retail,” said Pepperl. “Fresh Blenders are ideal for refrigerated endcap displays and can be easily promoted alongside other key smoothie and juice items like kale and carrots. It’s a great value offering to reach this crowd of consumers, who purchase a lot of fruits and vegetables each week.”
The fruit inside each bag is ideal for blends, as color percentages and shape do not matter when making a juice or smoothie recipe like they do when eating the apple fresh. This makes Fresh Blenders a great value item to consumers, Pepperl added.
“A five-pound bag can make a week’s worth of juice or smoothies for most consumers. Fresh Blenders deliver value and convenience, making it easy for shoppers to juice or make smoothies at home all year long,” said Pepperl.
Stemilt will pack Fresh Blenders in both sweet and tart flavors. The varieties available for sweet are Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious. The varieties available as tart are Braeburn, Granny Smith and “Pink Lady” brand apples.
On the back of every bag, Stemilt includes a recipe that fits the flavor profile of the fruit inside. Sweet Blenders have the “Ridiculously Red” smoothie recipe on the back, which brings beets, strawberries and sweet apples together. Tart Blenders have the “ABC Smoothie,” which includes apples, bananas, carrots and an option to make it green with spinach. Every package also features the Mathison family and the message “from our orchards to you” in order to tie the consumer back to the farm these fruits came from.
“Consumers want to know the story behind where their food was grown and who grew it. Our founding family has been farming apples for going-on six generations and has a great story to share,” Brianna Shales, Stemilt communications manager, said in the release.
Stemilt will share Fresh Blenders with its consumer audience following PMA. Stemilt.com will have a Fresh Blenders page with product information, instructional videos and smoothie and juice recipes. Stemilt will also reach consumers with recipes and tips for blending and juicing and other fun giveaways through The Stem blog, and its large social media presence.
Jonah Berger, the New York Times best-selling author of the book Contagious, is also excited about the introduction of Fresh Blenders and believes it’s a product line that resonates with today’s health-conscious consumers.
“As a smoothie maker myself, I think Fresh Blenders is a great idea,” he said. “It taps into the growing trend of blending and juicing with a healthy, fresh, and easy to use ingredient like apples.”