Late season promotions planned for California table grapes

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Late season promotions planned for California table grapes

The California Table Grape Commission (GTGC) will undertake late season promotions both domestically and abroad in 2013-14, in a bid to boost rotation for a season that has been lengthened by new varieties.uvas_90527149

GTGC president Kathleen Nave told there would be plentiful supplies of all three colors of grapes through to the end of the year, with promotions until mid-January in the U.S.

"And of course we do late season promotions in a number of key international markets because December and January are good times for a number of our international markets," Nave said.

"We have some regional promotions that we’re doing with retailers in Asia, and some of the main areas where we have targeted promotions are in China, certainly in Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

"We always have a number of festivals and in-store promotions in Mexico and Central America in December."

She said retail partners were working hard to handle California table grapes well and movement had been fast. The commission has forecast a crop of 105.7 million boxes, weighing 19 pounds each.

"We don’t have numbers since the U.S. government shutdown, but all indications are that things are proceeding today as they have done in the past.

"One of the reasons why we are expecting the larger volume is because of the later crop. There are many new varieties that have been developed and planted in the last five years that are really just now coming into fruition and are in stores around the country.

"I think that’s the biggest change for the industry – the number of varieties that are available in September through January, but are harvested late."

She said varietal shifts were also taking place in terms of foreign demand, and the CTGC is forecasting around 40% of the crop to be sold abroad this season.

"What I would say is that Red Globe has historically been more of an export grape than a domestically consumed grape but there has always been a market for Red Globes in the U.S.

"International markets have seen the trend for probably the last six or seven years that they are also now interested in seedless grapes.

"Part of it is that countries that didn’t used to have the infrastructure to provide the cold storage necessary for seedless fruit now do."

When asked what she would like to see more of in U.S. retailers, Nave understandably encouraged more shelf space for table grapes.

"For consumers, grapes are an item that they always consider buying according to all our consumer research, so I think we’re well positioned.

"I would like to see every retailer have a big front and center 35ft display of multiple varieties of table grapes – the more varieties that are out there, the more gets sold.

"Grapes are an extremely profitable item for most retailers at most times of the season. What they would take away in order to expand grape shelf space would depend on what their mix is and the seasonality, but I’m completely confident that retailers could increase their own bottom line by expanding their shelf life for table grapes."




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