Stemilt's Honeycrisp Grows to a Quarter of the U.S. Apple Sales Pie

Fri. March 9th, 2018
- by Melissa De Leon     

WENATCHEE, WA - January was the month for Honeycrisp apples, with the variety making up nearly a quarter of U.S. apple sales, according to Stemilt’s latest Fruit Tracker Fast Facts video analysis of Nielsen retail scan data. Accounting for 24.1 percent of U.S. apple sales—an increase of 10.8 percent year-over-year—Honeycrisp continues to catch consumers' eyes and earn its share of the apple sales pie.

Brianna Shales, Communications Manager, Stemilt Growers

“The trend of growth in both volume and dollar sales of Honeycrisp continued as we welcomed the new year. This is due to increased national supplies of Honeycrisp in the 2017 apple crop, but also great consumer demand for this favorite variety. The average retail price of Honeycrisp in January 2018 was $2.46, or 50.9 percent higher than the average retail price for all apples ($1.63). Even with its success story, the increases in Honeycrisp were not enough to reverse a downward year-over-year trend on apple sales and volume,” said Brianna Shales, Communications Manager, in a press release.

In January 2018, apples made up 6 percent of total produce department sales—down from last year’s 6.8 percent—with Gala (25.9% share), Honeycrisp (16%), Fuji (13.2%), Granny Smith (10.8%), and Red Delicious (10.7%) taking the top 5 spots of apple volume on shelves. The Central region beat the U.S. average and led other regions with 6.8 percent of its produce dollars coming from apples. Approximately 57.6 percent of apples were sold bulk while the remaining 42.4 percent fell under the bag category. Bags are up 2.6 percent when compared to January 2017—due to smaller fruit size and tight supplies on bulk.

Stemilt Fruit Tracker Fast Facts (CLICK TO VIEW)

“The three-pound bag continues to be the top avenue for bag sales,” Shales continued. “Six out of every ten bag purchases are in this weight while five-pound bags rank second. In a crop with more opportunities on bags than bulk, it’s important that retailers look towards larger package sizes, like three and five pounds, to drive volume sales of apples.”

Stemilt's Artisan Organics Lil Snappers Grannysmith apples

Shales also stated that Stemilt’s existing Lil Snappers® 3 lb pouch bag program has been a great merchandising avenue for retailers this year because of its ability to market intent to parents looking to buy healthy, kid-sized foods for their children’s lunches and snacks. The brand has great distribution in the U.S. and Canada and has been a big promotion driver at retail.

“Spring is a still a great season for apple promotions. In fact, apples made up 6.3 percent of total produce sales in the U.S. in March 2017,” Shales said. “It’s important for retailers to continue executing multi-variety apple ads at least once a month. Focus bagged apple promotion opportunities around brands like Lil Snappers and Artisan Organics™ to drive both volume sales and shopper loyalty.”

Stemilt's Piñata® apples

With spring just weeks away, Stemilt is planning organic Earth Day (April 22) and festive Piñata® Apple Cinco de Mayo (May 5) ads with its retail partners. The company saw its long-time leadership in organic apples increase in the 2017 crop with orchards completing the three-year transition to organics. The company has many merchandising options for its Artisan Organics apples, including a new five-pound organic Apple Lover pouch bags designed to increase organic purchase size.

Stemilt's Piñata® apples

And for those retailers hoping to kick off Cinco de Mayo promotions the right way, Stemilt is supporting Piñata apple promotions during the celebration with an exciting digital program to reach Millennial and Gen Z shoppers via food influencers and some of its favorite food channels on social media.

For more produce industry news like this, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.

Stemilt Growers