Brianna Shales and Tim Harrington Highlight Granny Smith, Fuji, and Pink Lady® on Stemilt’s Fast Facts: The Cast
WENATCHEE, WA - For those looking for an exclusive look into the apple category, you’re in luck. Stemilt has returned with another episode of Fast Facts: The Cast, which features Marketing Director Brianna Shales and Merchandising Manager Tim Harrington discussing apple category performance based on Nielsen data over the 12 weeks from November 7, 2021, to January 29, 2022.
“We had some wild weather in the west in January that caused a few hiccups for apple shipments, but it was good to see that apple sales continued to show those 7 percent dollar increases year over year with Gala and Honeycrisp leading the pack at 44 percent of apple volumes,” Shales explained.
According to a press release, apples made up 6.1 percent of total produce department sales nationally during this time period. The top five performing apples included Gala and Honeycrisp, which combine to make up 44 percent of the category volume, followed by Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Pink Lady®.
“There are opportunities to promote Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Fuji this season,” noted Harrington. “Granny Smith apples are a very strong number three in the category, and volume is down 5.7 percent from last year. I suggest retailers look back and refocus on Granny Smith to give it more power through promotion.”
As supplies of Gala and Honeycrisp tighten, Stemilt notes that retailers should react by promoting other core apples such as Granny, Fuji, Pink Lady, and Cosmic Crisp® and continue promoting multiple varieties at once to attract a wider range of consumers.
This episode also emphasized the importance of planning bulk apple promotions accordingly, recognizing that bulk apples drive dollars for the category.
“We also know that 60 percent of apples are being sold in bulk and 40 percent in bags, but let’s talk about those per-pound prices and how retailers can approach that as part of their strategy this year,” Shales noted. “Retailers are definitely going to want to work on finding that balance between bag and bulk because it will take both for the category’s success.”
Harrington echoed these sentiments.
“Having both bulk and bag is an important part of having a successful category,” Harrington stated. “Bulk apples are giving you 46 cents more a pound than that of the bagged price per pound. Having bulk in your mix and a strong representation will blend right into that bottom line in sales. When you look at organics, you can almost double that. I would encourage bulk sales on both conventional and organic apples, it certainly makes those cash registers sing!”
Another variety gaining popularity is the Cosmic Crisp, according to Nielsen data, which was up 14 percent nationally in volume compared to last year during this timeframe.
To read more about these sales-driving varieties, click here. As always, keep clicking on AndNowUKnow for the latest industry updates.