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Shelby Exclusive: Stemilt’s Lil Snappers Line Attracts Sunkist Citrus


Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt, talked with The Shelby Report over the weekend during the PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim, Calif. Pepperl reported that Sunkist has joined Stemilt’s trademarked Lil Snappers program to market kid-sized citrus under the popular consumer label.

Lil Snapper Pinata“We started the Lil Snappers program about a year ago,” he said, “and the concept is small fruit for kids. It’s targeted at parents and obviously at the kids.”

The Lil Snapper bag includes a pleated bottom with a zip-lock top.

“It markets the fruit at the store; it has colorful characters on it, it has a QR code on the bag, it has some information about the fruit,” Pepperl said. “It has a website that supports it. It’s really targeting moms and kids. We also feel it markets the fruit to kids at home in the refrigerator. It stands up in the refrigerator, it doesn’t go into the crisper drawer and get lost. It’s easy.”

Moms love it, according to Pepperl, because it’s an easy grab-and-go solution.

“The handle makes it like a welcoming purchase,” he adds.

Because of the success of the Lil Snappers line, Stemilt asked Sunkist if it was interested in marketing under the Lil Snappers trademark.

“The have agreed and we’ve come together to try to do something that nobody has done before—two large companies bringing two different products under one brand that both have commonality,” Pepperl said. “We’re going to develop a consumer website that’s a Lil Snapper website, not a Stemilt site or a Sunkist site but a Lil Snappers website that will be talking about fruits for kids. We’ll have really fun recipes kids can make themselves with their parents. It will talk about health, nutrition, some interactivity. It will be a lot of fun; there will be more stuff following, like a mobile site, and we’re going to be doing some pull-through promotions for retailers in the future, cross-category promotions.”

A full line of apples and pears already are marketed under the Lil Snappers name. Sunkist will have Moro Blood oranges, CaraCara navels, Minneola tangelos and Mandarins available under the name.

In late February, the two companies are expected to make available a colorful “mutual pack,” according to Pepperl, that will include apples and citrus in the same bag.

“We have some unique combinations we’re talking about doing, so that’s the next phase,” Pepperl said.

Lil Snappers cost a bit more to package, Pepperl reveals, but “studies have shown we outperform traditional bags by anywhere from 10 to 20 percent.

“They go for a little higher ring, they sell a little faster and you sell a little more,” he said. “It’s a win-win for the retailer, it’s a win-win for the grower, and definitely for the consumer.”


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