DELANO, CA – As the fall grape harvest ramps up in Delano and Arvin, California, Columbine Vineyards is bringing growth, flavor, and innovation to the company’s retail partners as we move into the holiday push.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Sales Manager Anthony Stetson and Lauren Olcott, Marketing Representative, join me to discuss this busy time of year and what Columbine is doing to bring more value to the produce department.
“This fall, we have an excellent supply of both red and black seedless grapes,” Anthony tells me. “Demand is very good, especially for our proprietary Holiday® Grape. In addition to this seasonal favorite, we are also harvesting the ever-popular Autumn Royal, Red Globe, Scarlet Royal, Crimson, and Black Globe® varieties.”
Anthony also shares that prices are very attractiveright now to promote both red and black seedless. All of Columbine’s fall varieties are in their peak of production, sweetness, maturity, and freshness.
If you know anything about Columbine, you know that the company never sits still for long, as Lauren Olcott shares.
“Columbine Vineyards is continuously improving and moving forward in technology and growing practices through product innovation,” she says. “Currently we have several new proprietary grapes in development but they still need a little more TLC before being released.”
Last year, Columbine introduced its Petite Bag, which holds 1.25-1.5 lbs. in high graphic bags, with 15 bags per 19 lb. box.
“These petite bags have taken off at the retail level for stores that have used the bag as a ‘grab-n-go’ item. This bag also appeals to stores’ end-consumer who is looking for less than the conventional 2 lb. bag,” Lauren adds.
In addition, Columbine has several different point-of-sale signage options that talk highlight the company’s 90th year anniversary, 4th generation family farmer, proprietary grapes, flavor profile and how to incorporate Columbine grapes in any of our favorite family recipes. Along with the POS signage this year, the company has also been testing recipe cards at the store level as well, to help drive purchases.
So, what is Lauren’s go-to?
“My favorite is the dual recipe card with the Holiday® Popper and Holiday® Grape Popper salad. These three-ingredient recipes are simple, easy and delicious with our Holiday® Grape!” she says.
Situated in the fertile soils of the San Joaquin Valley, the Caratan family has been shipping grapes since 1926 with a dedicated team to carry Columbine into 2017. Columbine grows more than 18 varieties of table grapes, available from July through December, including its own proprietary varieties as well as traditional consumer favorites.