By CMI Orchards
WENATCHEE, WA: U.S. KIKU® growers, in the final 6-8 weeks of shipping a successful 2017 apple crop, and are making plans for the first KIKU® imports from the Southern Hemisphere.
According to George Harter of CMI Orchards, the 2017 KIKU® brand apple season was very successful despite a smaller overall harvest. “Between CMI and our partners Rice Fruit Company in (Gardners) Pennsylvania and Applewood Orchards in (Deerfield) Michigan, we had less volume to sell…,” said CMI Orchard’s George Harter.
Even with the volume reduction, Harter says that the Nielsen national scan data underscores the success of the strategy this year. The data reveals that the top 15 KIKU® retail chains nationally increased sales by 124 percent with volume up over 100 percent.
“The top 15 KIKU® retailer banners in the U.S. more than doubled their KIKU® volume for the season,” said Harter. “More importantly, they increased their volume while sustaining higher average retail prices. In a year where most retailers are experiencing significant category price deflation, having an apple brand like KIKU® drive sales and higher retail prices has been a huge win.”
Harter says the U.S. KIKU® growers will probably be completely sold out by mid May, well ahead of last year.
With supplies of domestically grown KIKU® winding down, the focus is now shifting to KIKU® imports from Chile and New Zealand. Robb Myers, Import Manager for CMI Orchards, says the company is setting plans now for the import KIKU® season beginning June 1.
“We’re expecting a strong import season on KIKU® from our growers in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Myers. The import KIKU® season will kick off in early June with supplies available through September, he added.
Myers said shipments already are being planned retailers get ready for the first of the import KIKU® arrivals on June 1.
About KIKU Apples
KIKU® brand apples come from select growers in strategic regions across the United States, and exclusively from CMI Orchards from their Southern Hemisphere partners. One of the owners of CMI Orchards (Columbia Fruit Packers) was granted the exclusive opportunity to develop the North American market for KIKU® brand apples.
Washington apples – grossing about $4600 to Chicago.