Superfresh Growers®' Autumn Glory and Cosmic Crisp Varieties Experience Nationwide Growth
- by Peggy Packer
YAKIMA, WA - Not only are organics growing in popularity with consumers, but they are one of the driving forces behind overall category growth. The apple and pear categories are great examples of this, as Superfresh Growers® recently announced strong sales results for the month of December. Apples were up seven percent while pears were up 12 percent in dollar sales, led by double-digit organic growth in both and strong showings by core and emerging apple varieties.
Core varieties like Honeycrisp, Gala, Granny Smith, and Fuji all had steady growth, ranging from 3-15 percent, according to the company’s release. Proprietary varieties, including Cosmic Crisp® and Autumn Glory®, boasted large dollar gains as well.
Autumn Glory apples in particular saw record December shipments, and Superfresh witnessed its growth nationwide. Data for this variety includes:
- Sales up 54 percent and volume up 102 percent
- Sales and volume up by double- or triple-digits in most regions
Cosmic Crisp apples also continue to grow the category strongly, but are not to the level witnessed in December 2019. Data for Cosmic Crisp includes:
- Up 7 percent in dollars and 18 percent in pounds
- Some regions saw sales growth in the triple digits; West North Central (+167 percent) and East South Central (+152 percent)
- Availability spread nationally, due to increased volumes in the second year
Superfresh reports that strong consumer programs continue the momentum of 2019, but there is much opportunity for retailers to help with merchandising programs surrounding the Cosmic Crisp variety. The Cosmic Crisp retailer tool-kit is an excellent resource for building displays and digital programs.
December apple growth overall was strong, with category dollars up seven percent, though volume was flat at 0.3 percent. The average price per pound was up 6.6 percent to $1.67/lb, while retail prices were all moving to the industry average. Proprietary varieties decreased to become more competitive with core and mature varieties, and core and mature varieties rose in price with increased demand and the market rising. All other proprietary varieties also experienced a decrease in price per pound as well.
The pear category, on the other hand, was up 12 percent in sales and six percent in volume. Average price per pound was up five percent to $1.60/lb. Strong sales were a result of strong core pear growth: Bartlett (17 percent), Anjou (11 percent), Bosc (12 percent), and Asian pears (eight percent), along with Red Bartletts that were up an outstanding 107 percent in sales. Asian pears experienced a stellar 21.8 percent increase of price per pound to $4.96/lb. Superfresh Growers will have a steady supply of Asian pears through the spring.
Organic apple share continued at a record percentage of 15.9 of category dollars, and 11.4 percent in volume. Organics sales are up 10 percent. Price per pound is up 11 percent to an average of $2.29/lb.
Organic pear growth continued its momentum from November, up 11 percent in dollars and 13 percent in volume. They still had a high category share of 15 percent for dollars, and 11 percent for volume, though those were down from record November percentages.
Packaged apples and pears remained strong during COVID-19, though they had moved to pre-COVID volume averages in October and November. For December, Superfresh saw slight rises over pre-COVID averages again. 41 percent of apple volume was packaged compared to the pre-COVID average of ~40 percent. 21 percent of pear volume was packaged compared to the pre-COVID average of ~18-20 percent. Nationally spiking numbers of COVID-19 cases seem to be shifting focus back to packaged apples and pears for convenience and perceived food safety.
Keep reading AndNowUKnow as we bring you the latest category updates.