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KIKU® Brand Apples Set Spring Record With One Million Pound Increase

KIKU® Brand Apples Set Spring Record With One Million Pound Increase

WENATCHEE, WA - CMI Orchard’s KIKU® brand apples set a record for retail sales and volume this spring, according to scan data released by Nielsen. For the two-month period of March and April, KIKU’s volume jumped 104% while dollars increased by 67% versus the same period last year.

George Harter, Vice President of Marketing, CMI Orchards“We learned many years ago that KIKU is the type of apple that can really juice category sales in the spring and summer months,” stated George Harter, Vice President of Marketing. “Consumers are looking for new flavors and KIKU’s combination of extreme sweetness and its crisp, crunchy texture is a guaranteed winner.”

According to Harter, the company has been anticipating strong performance for KIKU this spring. Harter says KIKU delivered a much-needed category performance boost to retailers around the U.S. in an otherwise difficult year. He noted that Nielsen scan data for the entirety of the U.S. during the March-April period showed total apple category sales dropping by 6% while volume declined by 8%, largely a result of falling FOB prices and smaller fruit sizing, both of which reduced transaction size.

KIKU® apple display

Overall, the Nielsen data shows that branded apples have been a bright spot for the apple category. For the March-April period, volume jumped 11% for the top 20 branded apples while dollars increased by 5%. Among the top 20 branded apples, only seven generated at least one million pounds in volume nationally.

“This has been a tough, deflationary year for the apple category,” said Harter. “It’s been critical for retailers to seize opportunity apples, like KIKU, and drive vitality into the category.”

Harter noted that the data shows only a few select branded apples have the scale and consumer demand to impact category sales for retailers. He said that among the top 20 branded apples, the data shows that the top five branded apples drove 80% of all branded apple volume.

“Among the top five best-selling branded apples, nationally, KIKU dominated with the largest absolute increase in total volume as well as the largest percentage increase,” said Harter. “That’s a volume increase of more than one million pounds sold at retail. No other branded apple came close to the performance of KIKU.”

KIKU® apple display

The Nielsen data reveals that for the period, KIKU sold in more than 5,000 supermarkets nationally, down from 5,800 stores during the same period last year.

“With a tighter crop we were cautious with distribution,” said Harter. “The good news is while we put KIKU in fewer stores, total sales were much, much stronger. It just shows when given the opportunity, consumers buy KIKU.”

He continued, “Savvy retailers are discovering that with KIKU, every consumer transaction occurs well above the average price for the category. As consumers shift purchases from commodity apples to KIKU, the overall category is lifted.”

Harter said there are still upcoming opportunities for retailers to grab incremental sales with KIKU, and that CMI will be kicking off the import KIKU season over the next few weeks, with imports arriving from Chile and New Zealand.

“Our retail partners have demonstrated over the past few years that late spring and summer are excellent sales months for KIKU. These are great months to introduce KIKU and drive sales with a proven winner.”

For the latest in apple news, and other fresh produce categories, continue to read AndNowUKnow.

CMI Orchards

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CMI Orchards

CMI Orchards is one of Washington State’s largest growers, shippers, and packers of premium quality apples, pears,...