For the first full season, Belleharvest Sales Inc. will have Disney Garden apples.
The Belding, Mich.-based company is the only company east of the Mississippi River that is licensed to sell Disney Garden products, said Tom Pletcher, vice president of sales and marketing.
The company shipped a few loads at the tail end of last season, but is really launching the program with the new crop, Pletcher said.
“We’ve had store requests for the 2-pound bags, and we’re still fielding requests now,” Pletcher said.
One of the biggest opportunities the licensee hopes to benefit from is the plethora of Disney events to market apples for.
“There are a lot of Disney-related events we’re hoping to be into,” Pletcher said.
The Toy Story movies, both Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2, are set to be released as a double feature in October, and Bellevue is already planning on some Toy Story-themed apple packs.
“We’re testing rates and level of interest, but what business it will bring I couldn’t tell,” Pletcher said. “A majority of retailers are not looking to add costs to what they’re doing. We’re not far enough along with it, but there are enough testimonials out there.”
Before Belleharvest got into the market, only two apple shippers were licensed to sell Disney Garden apples, both with apples out of Washington: Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc. and Cashmere, Wash.-based Crunch Pak.
Indianapolis-based Imagination Farms LLC licenses shippers to use the Disney Garden name.