(April 19) The Crunch Pak label might be headed to Europe.

Cashmere, Wash.-based fresh-cut apple shipper Crunch Pak LLC, has signed a consulting agreement with Fraiche Cut SAS, a new entity based in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France.

Fraiche Cut, a recent creation of the France-based Castang Group, is owned by the Herman family, a privately owned apple grower in France that generated more than $30 million in sales last year.

Fraiche Cut will, for the first time, ship sliced apples to European Union markets under the Cote Pommes label.

“With our knowledge of these many areas of produce, we see fresh sliced apples as giving us a new dimension to our companies,” Philippe Herman, manager and co-owner of the Cas-tang Group, said in a news release.


The agreement provides for sharing of information on marketing and technology between the two companies, said Tony Freytag, Crunch Pak’s marketing director.

“We’ll benefit financially, quite honestly, because we’ll get, for lack of better terms, a trade-mark fee or a licensing fee for every package that is sold, based on our technology,” Freytag said.

It also provides an entry for the Crunch Pak brand into Europe, Freytag said.

“It adds credibility to our product — the processes that we are using are expanding on an international basis,” Freytag said.

Crunch Pak will not ship any of its product to Europe through this deal, but the company brand could get some valuable exposure, Freytag said.

“It’s possible in the U.K., for example, where you have to have an English version of the product, and Crunch Pak can be used as a brand,” he said. “If we can expand our brand, we are in favor of that.”

The deal does not include shipping apples to any other European market under the Crunch Pak brand, Freytag said.


Crunch Pak plans to send personnel to the French plant in June, as it goes through final preparations for the first shipments in August, Freytag said.

The alliance also provides sharing of strategic information, Freytag noted.

“We’ll also be working with them on marketing,” he said. “One of the challenges from day one with sliced apples is, it is not a commodity.”