Snokist packs it in.
Observers said the fresh side of Snokist's business became a victim of significant changes in the growing and packing industry that now require handling large volumes of fruit to meet the demands of worldwide buyers.
Snokist, with its growers having smaller acreages, struggled to compete.
"This is the end of an era for a quality company," said Keith Mathews, manager of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association. "There are, in fact, tremendous pressures on smaller growers to stay competitive."
Des O'Rourke, an agricultural economist and now owner of a firm that analyzes global fruit marketing trends, said the cooperative model is a difficult one to sustain in the current economic environment.
"Snokist has a legacy of having a lot of small growers. They have had a difficult time over the last few years," O'Rourke said. "The integrated packer-shippers have been able to develop the new orchards and get into supplying higher-value apples."