Organic Apples Rise, Stemilt's Brianna Shales Offers Advice to Court Millennials

Sponsored Message
Learn More

Thu. February 8th, 2018 - by Robert Schaulis

WENATCHEE, WA – Growth in the organic apple category and shifts in volume and dollar contributions for organic and bagged apples are creating new opportunities for nimble retailers. And with its latest Fruit Tracker Fast Facts video, Stemilt is offering insights into the category and how to best capitalize on the trending apple option.

Brianna Shales, Communications Manager, Stemilt Growers

“Millennials are the primary organic purchasers today, and this demographic is also the key shopper group with children in the home,” said Communication Manager Brianna Shales, who, in a recent press release, offered several tips for retailers to focus on during the spring months to capture more dollars via organic apples. “Two-pound bags have seen an increase in volume share this year over last, and that is being driven by organic packs. However, retailers may be missing out on selling more volume of organic apples and should look to a three-pound bag and occasionally larger organic bags to appeal to the Millennial parent who has more mouths to feed at home.”

Stemilt’s most recent Fruit Tracker Fast Facts video analyzes December 2017 U.S. retail scan data from Nielsen and compares it to December 2016. According to Stemilt’s research, retailers were selling 2 percent more apples organically on average in the U.S. in December 2017 than in 2016. Organic apples represented 8.6 percent of the category volume and 11.2 percent of the apple category’s dollars.

Four out of every 10 apple purchases were bagged in December 2017, according to Stemilt—an expected shift given smaller sizing of the Washington State apple crop this year. Average retail pricing for bulk apples was up slightly over last year, while bags saw a dip, with the average retail price for all apples in December 2017 was $1.61 per pound, down a penny from December 2016.

Stemilt Fruit Tracker Fast Facts (CLICK TO VIEW)

“We continued to see apple volume and sales metrics down year-over-year in December, but saw nearly 2 percentage points of improvement over November 2017 data,” noted Shales. “This one month improvement tells us that retailers were able to tap into more apple promotions during the holiday rush, which helped move apples through the register.”

Despite a downward trend, Stemilt has met increasing demand for particular categories with new bagged organic offerings ideal for apple promotions. The company’s brand of kid-size fruits, Lil Snappers®, is now available under the company’s Artisan Organics™ label in a three-pound size—with a package intended to court parent shoppers and a format that includes enough apples to pack in two kid lunches every day during the school week. Stemilt also recently unveiled the Artisan Organics™ Apple Lover pack—a 5lb. special value bag featuring Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious varieties.

Stemilt Artisan Organics Pinata! Organic Lil Snappers apples

Apples contributed 6.1 percent of total produce department dollars in December 2017, and the Central region was the only area to beat that average at 6.7 percent of total produce sales. Top five varieties remained unchanged—with Gala leading the way, followed immediately by Honeycrisp, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious. Honeycrisp was the only apple in the top five to see increases in volume and dollar sales—with double-digit year-over-year growth for both metrics.

Stemilt Honeyhill™ Premium Honeycrisp apples

“While it’s great to see retailers selling more volume of the popular Honeycrisp apple, it’s ideal for the health of the apple category if multiple apple varieties are on promotion at the same time,” Shales added. “Including other key varieties like Gala and Fuji, and select club apples, in feature apple ads at least monthly, is a great way to position the apple category for success as we head into the spring.”

For more information on how to best capitalize on opportunities in the produce aisle, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.

Stemilt Growers