Americans are stocking up on apples as they contend with the COVID-19 crisis, especially Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Granny Smith. Consumers are favoring packaged apples, which jumped up 34% in volume in the last four weeks ending March 21, and likely more than that since. As consumers hunker down, they are turning to apples, which are not only a staple, but juicy, nutritious and kid-friendly. They are also readily available and easy to handle along the whole supply chain.
"Apples jumped to the top of the fruit category in March," says a statement from Superfresh Growers. They are up 22.3% in volume and up 13.6% in sales, year-over-year for the four weeks ending March 22, 2020. Gala was the lead volume mover, representing 28% of all apple volume. Gala apples were up 13% in dollars, and up 25% in volume. Honeycrisp reigned for apple dollars, representing 26% of overall apple sales. Honeycrisp apples were up 21% in dollars and up 39% in volume.
Packaged apple sales have accelerated during March, most likely due to COVID-19; they provide convenience and an impression of security. Bag sales were up 25% in dollars, and up 34% in volume. Top apple varieties for bag volume were Gala, Fuji, and Honeycrisp. Bagged pear sales were also up 2.9%, and the pear category is beginning to see similar packaging trends to apples. Organic apples are also seeing an increase, up 22% in sales, and up 34% in volume. Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady were the top five (in order) for organic volume in March.
Apples and pears are easy for grocery operations in these challenging times. Superfresh Growers has multiple display options including floor bins and display-ready cartons that make life easier on produce department and supply chain operations staff. These options all display on the pallet and are shipped display-ready. Superfresh Growers are also able to support direct-to-store-deliveries.