Razzle Dazzle California Grapes Field Update – December 2nd 2019.
December here in Central CA has brought a much needed sight… RAIN! After a 6 month dry streak, this last week has brought the first wide spread rains through the state. The end of the week will also bring another swath of rain. Perfect timing as everything is in the barn for the season and we finish out the Razzle Dazzle season.
Razzle reds will continue for another 2 1/2 weeks, as we are packing fresh out of harvest totes. Quality will remain strong, packing to order and allowing you to continue to promote through mid – December. With the fresh harvested fruit in house, we are keeping sharp eyes on the quality and working with our crews to pack what can be compared to a mid-summer level Razzle. Overall, the remainder of the grape industry will struggle with the last fruit of the season, with issues being present in conventional packs. Razzle red will lead the charge as a great red to finish out the season and we genuinely feel the quality provide a great value at seasons end.
Dazzle green and Razzle Dazzle bi color are finished for the season. The late season Autumn King crop was greatly impacted on crop volume for the entire industry, due to May rains causing mildew scarring and decreased pack outs in the field. We are hoping next year to stretch this longer… but in all honesty, your great demand wiped us out fast! 2019 has been an amazing start to the branding program and we appreciate the support on both Dazzle and Razzle Dazzle bi colors.
Import Razzle Dazzle – Peru & Chile
Our strength as a long term importer from South America will be one of the biggest benefits to the Razzle Dazzle program. With our goal to bring year round branding, a forward thinking concept for the grape category, we will begin with harvest in Peru followed closely behind with our growers in Chile. We anticipate a small gap, as we wait for maturity and the premium varieties to being harvest in South America, but will look to fill the gap and being arriving with Razzle red and Dazzle green as soon as quality is consistent with the program specs. Materials are landed and harvest will begin in late December. Chile will bring the best volume of the season, with a true volume kick off to the program in mid-February.
The end of the California grape crop has been very tough this season. Quality issues in reds and a very early finish on green will leave an empty pipeline and huge demand for the first imports of the season. Our recommendation is to be careful, as all retailers / wholesalers will have to hobble through a very rough December on grape availability. Arrival volume from Peru will not be enough to meet demand, and Chile will not start in earnest until mid-January. Conventional label imports will try to fill the gap and struggle.
We want Razzle Dazzle branding to remain the best in the industry, especially in comparison to a very blandly branded import grape category. We will keep you updated on first harvests, stateside arrivals and promotable volume time tables for the 2020 imports.