01 February 2019 | Opinion
The Pear Bureau Northwest was established in 1931 as a non-profit marketing organization to promote, advertise and develop markets for fresh pears grown in Washington and Oregon. Pears from these two Northwest states are distributed under the USA Pears brand.
Very recently, USA Pears have entered India with two varieties of Anjou, both green and red. Also, for the first time a small volume of Starkrimson and Bartlett Pears have been imported into the Indian market. To add to that, pears are an excellent source of fiber, providing about 24% of one’s daily needs. USA Pears contain Levulose, a natural sugar that can satisfy the sweet cravings for everyone, even for diabetics without guilt. NuFFooDS Spectrum interacted with Sumit Saran, SS Associates, India representative for USA Pears to know more about the growth of USA Pears in India.
How does India look like as a market for USA Pears?
Over the years, India has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for USA Pears and is currently among the top 10 markets globally. USA Pears perfectly compliment the Indian Pear season. USA Pears are available in the market from November to March. Indian Pears are available from August to October.
Pears are often a fruit that get missed out in consumers’ shopping baskets as not much is known about this fruit. We as the representatives of Pear Bureau Northwest, the agency responsible for marketing of USA Pears, are making all efforts to make Indian consumers aware about the nutritional attributes of Pears and also about its wonderful taste as a healthy, anytime snack or as a perfect addition to varied Indian cuisines including salads, entrees and desserts.
The Indian market is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years as more consumers get aware and availability penetrates to Tier II and III cities.
What kind of promotional plans & strategies that you will take undertaking in India?
We concentrate on below the line promotions and look to work with importers, wholesalers and retailers (both modern and traditional) to reach out to discerning consumers across India. We also have a consumer communication program and look to engage with newspapers, magazines, food writers, bloggers and digital and social media influencers.
We also educate consumers on how to test the right eating stage for Pears. Most people don’t know how to check Pear ripeness as this fruit does not change color when maturing. Normally, when people buy Pears from retailers it is very hard. USA Pears varieties like Anjou and Bartlett taste best when they are perfectly ripe. For this, we run a campaign called “Check The Neck” where we educate consumers to press gently at the base of the Pear stem near the neck. If the Pear yields slightly, your USA Pear is ready to eat. You can get your pears to ripen by leaving them at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe, you can refrigerate the pears for consuming over the next five days.
What are the various health benefits that the consumers need to be aware which are associated with Pears?
Pears are a power house of nutrition! They are an excellent source of fibre, potassium and Vitamin C and are sodium, fat and cholesterol free. A single medium pear contains nearly 24% the daily fibre needs – and is only 100 calories That’s a lot of nutrition in one sweet and juicy package! Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle, and pears are a delicious part of this menu. Numerous studies indicate that Pears help reduce cholesterol levels, risk of coronary heart disease and Type II diabetes. USA Pears are a complete package of health, nutrition and taste.
What are the prices and types of USA Pears available in India. Any collaborations with retail stores in India? Do you think the average Indian consumer will be able to afford the fruit?
Pear Bureau Northwest is a promotion agency and we are not involved in trade. Issues related to pricing is between importers, wholesalers and retailers. However, in general, prices for USA Pears are not very different to the prices of similar imported fruits like Apples, Kiwis etc. that have found widespread acceptability. Indian consumers are more than willing to spend if the product is healthy and tasty and good for the family. USA Pears are a wonderful addition to the shopping basket of discerning Indian consumers.
Where do you see the maximum demand coming from?
Demand is coming from across the country. While the demand is always increasing from Metros and Tier I cities, we have been pleasantly surprised by the consumption increase in small and medium cities. At present, it is more a question of meeting the demand. As supply chain bottlenecks clear and better cold chain systems get created, we expect USA Pears to be consumed across India.