Stemilt Growers Reports Apples Are Soaring Thanks to Rising Retail Prices
WENATCHEE, WA - Temperatures might have dropped low, low, low last month, but the apple category is on the rise. According to Stemilt Growers and its latest Fruit Tracker™ Fast Facts video analysis, the Polar Vortex didn’t hinder apple category performance, with dollars and volume on the up and up.
“Apple movement continued its brisk pace in the New Year despite some frigid temperatures late in the month,” said Brianna Shales, Communications Manager. “Fruit quality and key varieties in the right size profiles continue to fuel bulk promotions and category performance. With a smaller U.S. apple crop this year when compared to last, we expect to see average retails to continue to creep up in the spring and summer months.”
In January 2019, apples accounted for 8.4 percent of fresh produce sales, which is a 1.8 percent jump from 2018. While three regions in the States fell below the U.S. average, the Midwest beat the average and reported apples making up 9.7 percent of fresh produce sales. According to a press release, apples sold for $1.62 per pound on average this year, a penny increase over the same time last year.
In addition, four out of 10 apples sold during January 2019 were Gala (holding the top position with dollars increasing 17.3 percent compared to last year) or Honeycrisp (holding the highest average retail price at $2.43 per pound), with Fuji, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith rounding out the top five apple varieties.
“Honeycrisp performance shows it’s still the consumer favorite and sells at premium prices, but the performance of Gala and month-over-month increases in Fuji volumes are great signs of a healthy apple category and strong promotion execution at retail,” Shales continued.
With spring just around the corner, apple supplies will become relatively tight. As such, Stemilt suggests retailers begin to look to certain varieties and size profiles for promotion opportunities. Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady® varieties are all available with great quality in several size profiles. Jumbo Red Delicious apples are also available with the best value opportunity, according to Stemilt, and Piñata® apples will hit shelves this spring with new flavors for shoppers to fall in love with.
“The spring months not only bring warmer temperatures, but also some of the best apple qualities of the season. It’s a great time to continue the forward momentum on apples with steady promotions that focus on flavors and quality,” concluded Shales.
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