Sun-Maid Growers of California held its 106th Annual membership meeting at the Convention Center’s “New Exhibit Hall” in Downtown Fresno.  The theme “It’s A New Sun-Maid” was evident throughout the event with a newly created management team and marketing strategy.  The meeting was moved for the first time in over 30 years from the Saroyan Theater to accommodate Disney’s production of The Lion King. More than 1,000 raisin growers, families and guests were in attendance.
Sun-Maid President & CEO, Harry Overly laid out the company’s transformational plans to reinvigorate Sun-Maid – the Timeless & Trusted brand – and revealed an all-encompassing marketing strategy to target today’s younger millennial parents.  Sun-Maid’s 2019 marketing efforts, set to launch in January, will include a national television and digital campaign in addition to a portfolio of new products.  President Overly went on further to describe Sun-Maid’s heavy emphasis on innovation and marketing, indicating nearly 40% of the company’s growth will come from new products. 
“We’ve learned so much about the Sun-Maid brand over the past year talking to consumers. We intend to take those consumer insights and grow this business with exciting new products and a new marketing campaign that reminds all consumers of their strong emotional connection to Sun-Maid,” said Overly.
President Overly also highlighted the strength of the association with net sales steady at $362 million in this past fiscal year, and reported that for the 32nd consecutive year, Sun-Maid member payments will exceed the established industry field price. 
Chairman Jeff Jue provided a review of this year’s growing conditions.  He also addressed the current outlook of the raisin industry, which has seen an increase in the 2018 crop size of more than 10% and deliveries exceeding 2017 by 22%.  With this larger crop, both Jue and Overly confirmed the California crop will be easily cover today’s demands.  However, Overly indicated cautious guidance in regards to worldwide raisin demand trends and the impact of emerging foreign competitors.  Overly reviewed weakening US shipment trends and the potential influence on California raisin pricing.
Founded in 1912, Sun-Maid Growers is the world’s largest marketer of raisins and other premium quality dried fruits. Sun-Maid’s sales are approximately half retail consumer products and half ingredient products for items such as cereals, breads and a variety of other food products. Located in Kingsburg, California in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley’s raisin producing district, Sun-Maid products are distributed throughout the United States and in more than 50 countries around the world.
For more information about Sun-Maid, visit www.sunmaid.com.

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