Stemilt Growers’ Fruit Tracker Video Analysis Shows Strong Demand for Gala Apples
WENATCHEE, WA - We want apple data! When do we want it? Now! The latest from Stemilt Fruit Tracker Fast Facts’ video analysis of Nielsen scan data signals the apple category is bulking up, despite a slow start to sales in the new crop year and a national apple crop down from 2017. Stemilt’s analysis of December 2018 U.S. retail scan data shows average weekly dollars and pounds of apples sold were flat compared to December 2017. The average store sold approximately 1,685 pounds of apples per week in December 2018, which brought an average of $2,710 to the store each week. The category’s top apple variety, Gala, has rebounded from its 2017 performance, with volumes and dollars up 11 percent year-over-year.
“The fact that apple sales are flat during a shorter crop year is a sign of great demand for a popular fruit,” said Brianna Shales, Communications Manager. “Retailers should be encouraged about the performance of their apple category and its leading apple, Gala, in the first four months of this new crop year.”
According to a company press release, Gala made up approximately one quarter of apple sales in December 2018 with an average retail price of $1.29 per pound. Honeycrisp led the top 5 apple varieties in average retail pricing with an average price per pound of $2.28. Honeycrisp represented 17.4 percent of apple category sales and 24.6 percent of the dollars. Dollar sales of Honeycrip were up 4 percent in December 2018 compared to December 2017. Granny Smith, Fuji, and Red Delicious rounded out the top five apple varieties in December 2018.
“Fuji was down in volume and dollars year-over-year in December and is the apple with the most promotion opportunity as we head into the spring months,” stated Shales. “At Stemilt, we have great supplies of high-color and high-quality Aztec Fuji’s coming to align with apple promotions that feature Fuji.”
According to the data, the 2017 apple crop favored bagged apples due to smaller apple sizes. Data from December 2018 shows that apple bulk sales rebounded with larger fruit sizes. Bulk apples generated 58.3 percent of apple pounds sold and 67.4 percent of the dollars.
Stemilt has merchandising vehicles for both bulk and bagged apples to support spring apple promotions at retail. The company introduced a set of EZ pallet displays in October to help retailers promote both conventional and organic apples, as well as its award-winning Lil Snappers® brand for kid-sized fruit in pouch bags.
“We know that most consumers are enjoying apples as a snack. Our EZ pallets were made to reinforce that behavior and encourage shoppers to purchase apples for snacks,” said Shales. “The EZ pallet easily moves through a retailer’s distribution system, sets up in the store in a minute, and will grab shopper’s attention through its large footprint and high graphics.”
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