Stemilt-O-Graphic Shows Piñata® Apple Shines as December Dollars Trend Up at Retail
WENATCHEE, WA - According to Stemilt’s newest Stemilt-O-Graphic, apples have contributed more dollars on average to U.S. produce departments in December 2015 than in 2014, despite volume being down slightly year-over-year. This latest in a series of Stemilt-O-Graphics is based on Nielsen FreshFacts® data from November 29-December 26, 2015.
“The highlight of this recent data set from Nielsen is that bulk fruit averaged $1.80 per pound in December 2015, and was up $0.17 year-over-year. Bags were also up, selling for $0.07 more per pound,” said Stemilt’s Marketing Director Roger Pepperl in a statement. “It’s not surprising to see higher retail prices given the fact that the 2015 national apple crop is down considerably from record levels in 2014.”
According to the data, the Gala and Honeycrisp varieties made up a smaller percentage of the December mix in 2015 than in 2014, with Honeycrisp dropping 2% to 10.3% of category sales, and Gala down about one percentage point. Pepperl explained that this is likely due to smaller fruit size on Gala and certain regional growing areas finishing up on Honeycrisp earlier in 2015 than in 2014.
Stemilt was happy to note that its popular signature variety, Piñata®, was up 55.3% in volume year-over-year, which Pepperl attributes to high demand and an increase in promotional activity at retail.
“Piñata® is a consumer favorite apple when it is available in the late winter and spring months, and that is especially showing this year at retail,” he continued. “December was a great month to kick-off the apple’s season, and we are excited to continue the great momentum with more promotion opportunities around this apple coming up. Piñata’s bi-coloring and unique flavor make it a great substitution for large Gala’s, which are in short supply this year.”
More good news for the company’s pouch bag brand of 3lb. size apples, Lil Snappers®, came in this Stemilt-O-Graphic as well. The 2015-16 crop year saw smaller fruit size on average for apples, making Lil Snappers® a great promotion vehicle for retailers.
“Parents love Lil Snappers® apples,” said Pepperl. “The grab-and-go bag of fruit sized just for kids makes it more convenient than ever for them to include fresh fruit in their child’s lunch or to serve for snack. Lil Snappers are a perfect item to promote at retail in the late winter and spring.”
Pepperl recommends both Piñata® and Pink Lady® varieties for upcoming spring Lil Snappers® promotions, as he says both have excellent qualities out of storage and are kid favorites.