WENATCHEE, WASH. - The latest edition of Stemilt’s Fast Facts: The Cast video series goes over the last 12 weeks of retail data from Nielsen retails scan data ending on Aug. 22. The data reveals a strong summertime performance for the category this year. 

The top five apples by volume during this 12-week period were Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Granny Smith and Red Delicious. Honeycrisp made up 27% of the apple category dollars over the summer and retailers moved more volume of this apple. The top five all showed year-over-year increases, except for Red Delicious, which has evolved into a value offering in the US marketplace. 

“It’s encouraging to see apple dollars up 3% and volume up 4.3% year-over-year during the past three months,” said Brianna Shales, senior marketing manager at Stemilt. “The summer months are generally a slower time for apple promotions, but good availability and quality, larger pack sizes, and consumer interest in apples has helped this category stay strong throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers are certainly making apples convenient for shoppers to grab-and-go during these unusual times.” 

Packaged apple sales have grown since the entrance of COVID-19 and made up 34% of category dollars and 42% of category volume. In 2019, bags contributed 3% more dollars and 5% more volume to the apple category. 

Shales expects the bagged apple trend to continue into the fall as shopper still have shopping hesitations amid the pandemic. She also pointed out the bulk apple sales have an opportunity this fall. 

“The Farm + Famous tote bag is a great solution for bulk apple sales as the COVID-19 pandemic likely continues this fall and winter,” said Shales. “Retailers can sell apples at a per pound price but limit the time they spend setting up displays and handling fruit. Consumers will love the grab-and-go bag and the fact that it is 100% recyclable.” 

As the fall season arrives, Stemilt advises retailers to find the sweet spot on Honeycrisp apple promotions that will lead to incremental sales, carry the right club varieties for their shoppers during their prime seasons, and keep building big apple displays to attract in-store purchases.