Nov 24, 2015
Honeycrisp prices up; total apple dollars down

Retail prices for the consumer favorite Honeycrisp apple rose in October 2015, yet the total dollars apples contributed to the produce department fell by half a percent when comparing the same four weeks from 2014, according to a Stemilt analysis of retail scan data recently released by Nielsen Perishables Group.

Honeycrisp and Fuji saw increases in category contribution year over year, with Honeycrisp up half a percent and selling for 11 cents more per pound on average than it did in 2014. According to Stemilt marketing director Roger Pepperl, Honeycrisp retails should continue to rise as the 2015 season carries on due to escalating prices driven by consumer demand.

“October is a good month to look at data for Honeycrisp because the variety is slotted and likely promoted in all regions following apple harvest throughout the U.S. Consumers love this apple and consistently show they are willing to pay a higher price for its unique flavor and crunch. Going forward in 2015, retailers must continue to highlight Honeycrisp on apple displays but promote other key varieties, including Gala, Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady, in order to boost the entire category,” Pepperl said.

Gala and Red Delicious remained steady year over year contributing with Gala making up the largest contribution to the apple category at 27.3% and Red Delicious at 11.2%. SweeTango was the leading trademarked apple variety sold in October 2015, making up 1.8% of category sales. It also continued to maintain the highest retail price of trademarked varieties following success in September 2015.

With many more apple selling months to go, and the late fall and winter season important for the category and entire produce department, Pepperl recommends that retailers focus on multi-variety apple promotions for the months to come in order to boost the category. As always, bulk fruit should be the focus of promotions while bags can offer great value to shoppers as in-and-out promotions or everyday items that drive up purchase size. Stemilt has two branded pouch bag items, 3-lb. Lil Snappers kid-sized apples and 5-lb. Fresh Blenders apples for blending and juicing, that directly promote the use of apples to two important shopper crowds, parents and health-conscious consumers.

“The New Year is fast-approaching and an ideal time to promote bulk apples as an item to eat every day as part of a healthy diet. In addition to bulk, Stemilt has two great bag items that are proven to sell at retail. The 3-lb. Lil Snappers pouch is perfectly sized for families and an item parents will be looking for as they begin to pack lunches again following holiday breaks. Additionally, Fresh Blenders are designed to merchandise health and wellness by creating a juicing/blending destination in the freshest destination in the supermarket,” Pepperl said.

Gala Lil Snappers are an ideal bagged item to promote at retail given the smaller sizing on the first-to-harvest apple this season, Pepperl added.

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