Despite lower tree fruit volume across much of the Pacific Northwest, the region’s organic pear crop looks promising, according to Yakima, WA-based Domex Superfresh Growers.
Estimates point to an increase in volume over last year, with most varieties seeing volume increases.
“We have a strong market position this crop year, with our organic pear crop accounting for 40% of all Northwest organic pears,” Cat Gipe-Stewart, Director of Marketing, Domex Superfresh Growers, says. “The organic pear crop is up with annual cycling and an increased transition to certified organic orchards. We are especially focusing on promotions for organic ‘Bartlett’ and organic red pears. Sizing is looking to be two sizes smaller this year on summer pears, including red and green ‘Bartlett’ and ‘Starkrimson’. We are optimistic in winter pear sizing up a bit more before September and October harvest.”
Last fall organic pears accounted for 11% of the pear category sales, according to Nielsen data.
“With a larger organic pear crop, we hope to continue to grow this percentage of the whole category,” Gipe-Stewart says.
The entire Northwest pear crop is estimated to be slightly up year-over-year, further strengthening the organic pear category.
“There will be opportunities to promote all varieties of pears. Multi-color promotions are important to help with movement and excite consumers into trying new varieties. We have found that if consumers are a green pear heavy user, they are more likely to purchase a ‘Bosc’ or red pear if it’s on promo at the same time as a green pear,” Gipe-Stewart says.
The Superfresh Growers organic pear season started in late August, with organic ‘Bartlett’ and ‘Starkrimson’ pears. The crop will continue harvesting through October and into early November, depending on geography and variety.
Organic Pear Production on the Rise in PNW