Honeybear® Brands' Don Roper Discusses Current Apple Market and Useful Buy-Side Strategies
ELGIN, MN - With seasonal delicacies like apple pie, candy apples, apple fritters, and more calling on the cravings of shoppers everywhere, the apple category is exuberant, drawing in shoppers in search of the perfect addition to their family recipes. To get a deeper understanding of the current apple market, I recently spoke with Don Roper, Vice President of Marketing for Honeybear® Brands.
“Our volume will be up significantly this year as our most recently planted orchards are coming into full production,” Don details. “Our yields are down, but the additional plantings are offsetting what Mother Nature has dealt us during an off growing year.”
Honeybear Brands has harvested its domestic crop for the 2021-2022 season, which includes Pazazz, Honeycrisp, First Kiss, Fuji, Pink Lady®, and Cosmic Crisp® varieties, and more. The overall national apple crop is down nearly five percent from last year, with high temperatures impacting the Gala, Fuji, and Honeycrisp varieties, resulting in a smaller-sized fruit. Because of this, Don points out, retailers should utilize the sizing to continue capturing sales.
“With size peaking on smaller fruit this year, retailers will have to be more flexible with sizing specs to mitigate upward price pressure,” Don adds. “It’s important that retailers have flexibility on sizing to optimize costs. As we move through the season, retailers that can substitute sizing will find pricing advantages.”
Despite warmer weather posing challenges to the category, Honeybear Brands notes there is still ample volume available, and consumers can still expect to see a good availability of Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples, as these varieties finished the season with increases of around 20 percent this year. The Pazazz variety will also be presenting lucrative opportunities for buyers due to its long marketing window and ability to be stored for an extended period.
To meet heightened category demand, Honeybear has also contracted production in South America as it expects import apples and pears to play a prominent role this spring and summer. Importing from Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand, Honeybear has built a dynamic dual-hemisphere program to bring the highest quality products to the North American market and provide its partners with low-cost solutions to drive sales and margin growth.
“Our dual-hemisphere program positions us to ensure our retail partners have the supply assurance they need on key conventional and organic varieties year-round,” Don notes. “With the largest Honeycrisp program in the Southern Hemisphere, we focus on executing packed-to-order solutions for our partners in an ultra-competitive marketplace.”
To drive apple sales, optimize Honeybear Brands’ high-quality lineup of apple varieties. And to stay up to date on the apple market and more, keep clicking on ANUK.