Ambrosia apple ready to hit sales peak in US

Get ready for Ambrosia apples to drive apple category performance. That’s the message to retailers from CMI Orchards.

“We’re entering the strongest sales period of the year for Ambrosia,” says George Harter, Vice President of Marketing for CMI Orchards. “Ambrosia is the 8th best-selling apple variety in the U.S., so it is one of the few new branded apples that have the sales power to lift overall category performance. Nielsen data shows that the 10-week period from late January to April 15 is among the strongest Ambrosia sales weeks of the entire year.”



According to Harter, a 20% increase in Ambrosia production combined with outstanding quality has him very optimistic for record sales in the coming weeks. “We’re opening our CA storage rooms and adding Ambrosia packing shifts in anticipation.”

Harter says the uptick in Ambrosia couldn’t come at a better time for retailers. He says the 2017/18 apple year has been tough for most retailers because smaller sizing is reducing consumer transaction size combined with category price deflation. “Total apple category performance has lagged behind previous years, with season-to-date volume nationally down by nearly 8%. Branded apples are a bright spot for retailers to recapture sales.”

Over the last five years, Ambrosia has grown to become the top selling, new branded apple in the United States. In 2016, for the first time Ambrosia jumped into the top 10 in total U.S. apple sales. Last season Ambrosia jumped again, passing McIntosh and moving up to number 8 in apple category sales, selling in more than 14,000 stores nationally.



“As an organization, we’re thrilled with how Ambrosia is driving sales for our retail customers,” said Harter. “It really is amazing when you look at national scan data how many of the supposedly ‘hot new varieties’ drive less than 10% of the store dollars of Ambrosia. Line ‘em up, Ambrosia tops ‘em all.”

Harter says with smaller fruit sizing out of the Northwest, the promotional opportunities on Ambrosia two-pound pouch bags will be unprecedented. “For two years running, our CMI Ambrosia has been the #1 selling two-pound pouch bag in the U.S. With an abundance of smaller fruit perfect for bagging, I anticipate we will see a lot of retail promotions running with hot prices like two for $5.”

“The good news for retailers right now is there are some really great branded apples available to promote,” said Harter. “In addition to Ambrosia, apples like Jazz, Envy, KIKU, Kanzi and others give retailers a lot of options for driving new category sales. The important thing for retailers to remember is it’s not by chance that Ambrosia outsells every other branded apple. It’s just a great apple that consumers love.”

For more information:
Linda McFarland
CMI Orchards
Tel: +1 (509) 888-3418

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