Stemilt Releases Stemilt Fast Facts: The Cast Update on Apple Volumes; Brianna Shales Illustrates
WENATCHEE, WA - The calendar pages are winding down in 2022, but our fresh produce industry isn’t letting a number keep us from driving growth and awareness. Stemilt’s Fast Facts: The Cast met up for one last time this year to wrap up the fall season, analyze the last 12 weeks of data from Nielson retail scan data, and discuss the shorter apple crop and holiday strategies at retail.
“Apple dollars are up 7 percent year-over-year or an average increase of $0.19/lb., while apple volumes were down 4.3 percent,” explained Marketing Director Brianna Shales. “A shorter national apple crop and food inflation are primary reasons for those increases. With these factors in place this season, it’s important that retailers take advantage of apples where there are opportunities to move volume.”
Shales and newly named Allocations Specialist, Katie Harmon discussed the crop status in the latest Fast Facts: The Cast 3-minute video. Additionally, the dynamic duo covered exciting opportunities for retailers to move apple volumes this holiday season.
Retailers should look to five primary apple varieties for opportunities: Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady®, and Cosmic Crisp®. While Gala is the top U.S. apple by volume, noted the release, it is in tighter supply this year making up for 24.7 percent of apple volumes during this time period, but tracking 10 percent down in volume year over year.
Within the top 5, the focus for multi-variety ads should shift to Granny Smith and Fuji. Beyond that, the Stemilt Fast Facts: The Cast video highlighted potential with good volume and great qualities of Pink Lady. Cosmic Crisp has grown in volume share and will make an impact on the top ten apples this year.
“Taking a look at apples sales, 60 percent of apples were sold bulk while the remaining 40 percent were in packages,” stated Shales. “Bag retails have increased 11.9 percent year over year and bulk retails have increased 4.6 percent. Apples made up 6 percent of total produce department sales from September 4, 2021, to November 27, 2021, and the average price per pound for apples was $1.82, compared to $1.63 the year prior.”
A smaller apple crop in the Midwest resulted in a nine percent decrease in apple volume sales there, whereas the south saw the greatest rise in apple dollar sales at nine percent. As noted in the review, this is due in part to their double-digit sales growth in organics. With that, organics were 16 percent of apple sales in November, with organic Honeycrisp making up the top two organic apple items for a combined one-third of organic apple sales. Shales further noted that organic promotions are going to be a great driver for the category in the winter and spring months.
“Organics offer great promotion opportunities for the winter months,” explained Shales. “Competition has also heated up in the club apple category. Ambrosia, SweeTango®, and Envy made up 62 percent of club sales and volumes during this latest 12 weeks. SweeTango was the #1 club apple in the Northeast and Midwest regions and was #2 for club apples in the West region.”
Stay up to date with the latest in fresh produce as we close out the year and thereafter as AndNowUKnow reports.