Pumpkin shipments in the U.S. should equal or exceed the volume of a year ago, thanks to a bountiful harvest, favorable growing conditions in the six states that account for 50 percent of the pumpkins in the nation….Also, Honeybear Pazazz apple shipments will increase substantially this season.
Last year 1.6 billion pounds of pumpkins were shipped. Some observers believe this year’s U.S. pumpkin totals by the end of the season could be one of the best on record.
Decorative pumpkins such as jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin pie filling and yogurt remain popular. However, it is the new and different uses of pumpkins such as liquid coffee, cereal and dog food where demand is really soar.
Libby’s supplies nearly 80 percent of U.S canned pumpkins. Libby’s is a unit of Nestle SA, which is also the parent company of Nestle Purina Petcare, the world’s No. 2 pet food manufacturer. Pets apparently love pumpkins, plus there is antioxidant-like benefits and dietary fiber content. Purina uses real pumpkins to accent its cat and dog food recipes year round.
Dog food sales with pumpkin flavors soared to $41.9 million for the 52-week period ending July 29, compared with $925,288 during a similar period in 2013.
The liquor market for pumpkins, including pumpkin-flavored craft beers, has declined in recent years with ever changing millennials switching to other flavors.
The Pazazz premium apple variety, now in its fourth year of commercial introduction by Honeybear Brands, ships early November to many markets and will be available at retail until early April while supplies last.
With its largest volume ever, Pazazz should be available for five to six months this year instead of the usual three.
Pazazz will also be available in 50-75 percent more retail markets than previous years as the crop reaches full maturity.
Retailers include Wegmans in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland; Loblaws in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec; Publix in all stores and all markets; all Hy-Vee in Iowa as well as Kansas City and Minnesota; Meijer in Illinois Michigan and Ohio; Kroger in Kentucky, Central Indiana, Michigan, Eastern Illinois and Texas; Ralphs in California; QFC in Oregon and Washington; and United Supermarkets in Texas and New Mexico. Additional markets and stores may be added in the coming weeks and months.
Honeybear, based in Brewster, WA, is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties. The company started as Wescott Agri Products, a family run apple orchard in the early 1970s. From that early start several generations ago, Honeybear still employs the same hands-on, personal attention to apple varieties produced through the Honeybear Apple Varietal Development Program. Honeybear is the leading grower of Honeycrisp in the Northwest and offers complete domestic and global apply supply integration from varietal development to growing, packing, shipping and retailer support.