Strong Washington State summer apple shipments indicate potentially record demand for apples that will be harvested in the coming weeks. Since June 1, Washington State apple shipments have eclipsed 2018 by a whopping 29%, and 2017 by 30%.
“Based on the movement we see – more than 10 straight weeks of +2 million-box shipments – we are encouraging retailers to set early ads on organic and conventional apples, starting in August,” says Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Communications Manager for Superfresh Growers®. She added, “We begin harvest next week, and anticipate exceptionally high demand for new crop Gala, Honeycrisp, and other apple varieties. Retailers who carve out plenty of promotional space for apples should earn big sales.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has conditioned consumers to shop differently in recent months. They are making fewer trips to grocery stores, and buying more produce per trip. The pandemic has increased demand for good tasting, healthy, grab-and-go produce items that have strong shelf life, like apples. And, of course, there has been a surge in online ordering for pick-up and home delivery. Apples are very popular in these programs.
Regardless of whether schools in different regions of the country re-open in August, Gipe-Stewart says parents will be stocking up on apples for healthy kids’ lunches and snacks. “Apples are known for their excellent shelf life, convenience and a good source of vitamin C. I think that is why we’ve seen such strong demand for apples this summer versus other summers. Plus, we are seeing a strong desire to purchase US-Grown food this year, supporting American farmers.”