Honeycrisp apple volumes are up 22% year over year, according to Stemilt’s latest episode of Fast Facts the Cast, a video podcast providing apple category performance stats and analysis based upon Nielsen scan data from January 2020.
Retail prices, however, are lower, and retailers only saw a 4.6% dollar increase in Honeycrisp sales. This is a trend across the top apple varieties. Nationally, apple volumes have risen 1.8% for the last two months in a row, but dollar sales are down 3.6% over last year’s numbers.
“Apples are in a period of deflation with a larger crop nationally this year,” says Brianna Shales, senior marketing manager at Stemilt. “With more volume, Honeycrisp promotions should continue but retailers will want to look closely at their Honeycrisp strategy as we near spring to ensure they aren’t leaving dollars behind.”
Gala and Granny Smith apples have seen nearly a 1% volume increase year-over-year, which is notable because there was a shortage of Granny Smith apples in 2019. Shales suggests promoting Granny Smiths for St. Patrick’s Day and in monthly cross-category promotions.
Retailers are having more success with organic apples, which made up 12% of apple sales in January 2020. Organics are up 10% in volume and 2.2% in sales. Shales recommends higher promotions of organic varieties such as Stemilt’s Pinata apples.
Stemilt is encouraging retailers to spread out apple displays during the spring. The company introduced a pop-out orchard display in partnership with the Produce for Better Health Foundation that promotes plant-based diets and gives retailers more space for apple displays.