Loading…

Apple volumes rise, dollar sales decline

DRC-5lb-Pinata-Pouch-Stemilt

Apple volumes rose nationally (up 1.8 percent) for the second consecutive month yet continue to show decline in dollar sales (down 3.6 percent) over last year. Stemilt revealed these facts and more in its latest episode of Fast Facts The Cast. The video podcast provides retailers with apple category performance stats and analysis based on Nielsen scan data from January 2020, compared to the same time the year prior.

“Honeycrisp volumes were up an incredible 22 percent year over year in January, but lower retail prices on this consumer favorite made for a dollar increase of just 4.6 percent,” said Brianna Shales, senior marketing manager at Stemilt. “Apples are in a period of deflation with a larger crop nationally this year. With more volume, Honeycrisp promotions should continue but retailers will want to look closely at their Honeycrisp strategy as we near spring to ensure they aren’t leaving dollars behind.”

The top five apples by volume in the U.S. during January were Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Granny Smith and Red Delicious. Gala and Granny Smith each had volume increases of nearly 1 percent year-over-year, but a difference in crop years makes those figures stand out.

“Last year, we had a shortage of Granny Smith apples and this year we have a larger, and truly high-quality crop,” said Shales. “The green holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, is an ideal time to promote Granny Smith but this variety is also a must to include in cross-category promotions monthly.”

The spring months are historically some of the best months quality-wise on apples, Shales noted. It’s also a period of transition for growing regions on some berries with seasonal items, like cherries, yet to arrive in stores.

“This opens the door for apples and makes cross-category ads a great idea for ensuring produce sales grow during the late winter and early spring months," she said. "Promoting multiple varieties on ad will increase that volume rise and give the category a boost.”

Organics were a brighter spot for the apple category in January 2020 with volume up 10 percent and dollars up 2.2 percent. Organics made up 12 percent of apple category dollars in January 2020.

“Earth Day is April 22 and a natural time to promote organic apples,” said Shales. “One idea is to carry a certain variety — like Pinata — only as organic. Promote organic-only varieties with the same gusto as conventional to build sales and delight your organic shoppers.”

Stemilt is also encouraging retailers to spread out their apple displays during the spring months. The company unveiled a new pop-out orchard display last week in partnership with Produce for Better Health Foundation and their Have a Plant consumer call-to-action. The display will help retailers give more space to apples while promoting the fruit as part of a plant-based diet.

“Plants are super trendy with consumers right now, and the produce department is home for a wide variety of fruits and veggies,” said Shales. “We’re looking forward to seeing these bright displays in stores, and hope they inspire shoppers to enjoy an apple a day the Have a Plant way this spring.”

COVID-19 triggers shifts in consumer food preferences
The coronavirus and government quarantines have triggered significant shifts in consumer shopping behavior, packaging preferences as well as purchase priorities. That’s the topline finding from a national consumer survey released by Category Partners. According to a national study of 2,000 consumers, survey participants say Read More ...
Lidl opens new regional distribution center to meet customer needs
Lidl formally opened its state-of-the-art regional headquarters and distribution center in Cecil County, MD. The new 700,000-square-foot facility will serve as the backbone of Lidl’s regional store network, quickly supplying products to stores in five states. Lidl invested more than $100 million in the project which will Read More ...
Consumers turn to apples in challenging times
Americans are stocking up on apples as they contend with the COVID-19 crisis, especially Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Granny Smith. Consumers are favoring packaged apples, which jumped up 34 percent in volume in the last four weeks ending March 21, and likely more than that since. As consumers hunker down, they are turning to Read More ...
Progressive Produce anticipates late spring and summer asparagus supply
As consumers continue to look for fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables to serve their families during these difficult times, Progressive Produce will begin shipping its strongest supply of the year of nutritious and versatile asparagus to shoppers across the United States and Canada. "As retailers discover what the new Read More ...
USDA files action over NJ company's $750K PACA violations
As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed an administrative complaint against Southern Sun LLC. The company, operating from New Jersey, allegedly failed to make payment Read More ...
The need for retailers to comfort shoppers
The upcoming April 13 issue of The Produce News will have its fair share of COVID-19 coverage. In his In the Trenches column, Ron Pelger raises one of the most important questions facing the produce industry: Is it safe to buy fresh produce? While the answer, straight from the FDA, is a resounding yes, it is a good bet Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse