Stemilt Highlights Apple and Pear Dollar Growth In Its February Fast Facts
WENATCHEE, WA - Back to offer buyers across the industry a leg up when it comes to stocking their produce aisles, Stemilt has released another edition of its Fruit Tracker™ Fast Facts to provide crucial insights on the U.S. apple and pear categories. February’s data showed a continued increase in apple dollars, and pears weren’t far behind. So, keep reading to find out exactly how you can maximize your sales with these staple categories.
“Retail prices of apples inched up between December 2020 and February 2021, and are up 11 cents year over year,” said Brianna Shales, Marketing Director. “This is due mostly to a shorter national apple crop this year. Apples are still competitively priced and ready for regular and big promotions as we head into the spring season.”
Based on Nielsen retail scan data from the latest 12 weeks ending February 21, the apple category saw a 1.2 percent increase in dollars compared to the 12 weeks prior. The Honeycrisp variety led the category in sales and accounted for 30 percent of apple dollars between January 24 and February 21. This variety alone was up 11 percent in dollars and 5 percent in volume compared to the same time last year.
Gala was another top competitor in the apple category, reporting a 5 percent increase in dollars compared to the year before.
“Looking beyond the top 5, we see Pink Lady® at #6 experiencing volume and dollar declines over the past 12 weeks,” said Shales. “It’s one of the best eating apples every spring and summer with that noteworthy sweet-tart profile and worthy of upcoming multi-variety bulk promotions. The pink branding can be a showstopper in the produce department to drive impulse sales.”
Just as with apple varieties, there were subtle differences in regional performance for the category as well. With an overall sales increase of 11 percent for fresh produce, the Northeast region saw produce sales up 12 percent and moved 1 percent more apple volume during the 12-week timeframe. The South region witnessed the largest growth in apple dollars, up 8 percent from last year.
“It’s difficult to pinpoint a single reason that the Northeast outperformed the average in February, but they had some wild weather during this timeframe which could have drawn more shoppers to purchase more food, including apples,” said Shales. “It also could be a continuation of the COVID-19 effect where consumers are eating and cooking at home more.”
In its Fast Facts episode, Stemilt also went over the pear category performance during the 12-week period. Similar to apples, pears saw a 13 percent increase in dollars and a 6 percent incline in volume.
The Bartlett variety was the star of the show in terms of the fall and early winter months, making up 40 percent of pear sales. Although, as domestic season starts to wind down, Stemilt is predicting this to change.
“We expect d’Anjou to move into that primary position for pears and have great supplies and fruit quality on Anjou’s to help continue the upward sales trend on pears,” said Shales. “Both red and green d’Anjou are great for frequent pear promotions this spring.”
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