As of Jan. 15, industrywide Chilean grape shipments to North America were down about 35% from last season, but Reedley, Calif.-based Dayka & Hackett LLC’s volumes were up about 25%, said Tim Dayka, a partner in the company.

Dayka credited the company’s reliance on programs instead of the spot market for its volume increase.

“We match growers with customers so there’s a connection there, and as a result, there’s a lot more confidence from both producers and retailers that their needs are being met.”

Program business accounts for about 80% of Dayka & Hackett’s Chilean grape business, Dayka said. Most programs are in place for the season by September or October.

“From the growers’ and retailers’ perspective, there’s a lot of security,” he said.

Dayka & Hackett also emphasizes specialized packaging in its Chilean grape program, Dayka said. The company packs significant volumes of 2- and 3-pound clamshells and 1.5- and 2-pound fixed-weight bags. Pack specifications are tailored for individual retailers, he said.

This season, Dayka said the early red deal would be dominated by flames, to be followed later in the season by crimsons.

On the green side, perlettes will give way to thompsons and sugraones later.

Dayka & Hackett also expects to ship more princess grapes from Chile this year.