Food companies know the eating habits of today’s consumer are always changing. People are snacking more frequently and searching for healthy foods they can easily consume on the go.
As a result, producers are looking for new ways to prepare and package fresh, organic snacks that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Stoneridge Orchards is one company finding great success selling natural, GMO-free fruit that is packaged to be carried and consumed on the go. What sets the brand apart from other brands in the fruit industry is its commitment to quality and the wellbeing of its customers. As a family business, the entire Stoneridge Orchards team works to grow and sell the same high level of food they would serve to their loved ones at home.
On this week’s episode of Ditch The Box, host David Marinac talks with Bryce Dorsing, Senior Vice President of Royal Ridge Farms, about his company’s acquisition of Stoneridge Orchards and the ways in which they have evolved from a farming business to a leading snack brand. The Washington-based company is built on a foundation of three successful farming generations committed to growing the very best fruit in their state and beyond. The family business has become the largest producer of tart cherries on the West Coast – a feat that helped propel the brand into the frozen and dried fruit industry.
Companies across the country purchase Royal Ridge’s dried fruits for trail mixes, cereals, granola bars, and other on-the-go food products.
As a result of this demand, the company decided to market Stoneridge Orchards as its own consumer brand committed to becoming to most innovative in the dried fruit industry. Dorsing says he and his team wanted to bring their high-quality fruits closer to the consumer by way of retailers like Publix and Whole Foods. Now, the brand’s blueberries, cherries, apples, and other nutritious fruits are regarded by many as the very best out there.
Dorsing says partnerships and acquisitions have been important ways for the company to grow and add on additional product lines. Stoneridge has managed to debut successful Greek yogurt and chocolate-covered fruit snacks through a strong relationship with a business that specializes in this type of flavorful coating. The Stoneridge team comes up with new product ideas that appeal to their target customer and develops unique flavor combinations though the strength of its relationships and partnerships.
Partnering with the right packaging supplier, too, has helped Stoneridge quickly get new products out on retail shelves.
The brand recently received GMO certification, requiring the company to refresh its packaging to communicate this achievement to health-conscious consumers. Dorsing says packaging redesigns and attention to detail can help brands like Stoneridge really connect with consumers. He and his team chose flexible retail packaging for its fruit offerings because it best aligned with how customers would use and store the product. A glossy finish helped the brand communicate the high quality of its fruit and stand out on the shelves of retail stores and at trade shows.
Food brands can become leaders in their industry by maintaining a commitment to quality and listening to consumer needs and desires at every stage. Careful attention to detail must be placed from the growing process to the drying phase and finally to packaging the product. Companies today can’t cut corners in any aspect of this process. Delivering a superior product depends on the right relationships, passion for producing a superior product, and close consideration for how it is presented to customers and retailers alike.