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Fruit Tracker™ video series highlights apple category increase

Stemilt’s industry leading category management program, Fruit Tracker™, has launched a new video series, Fast Facts, to visually share its analysis of retail scan data with retailers. The first episode of the video series looks at apple category performance in September 2016 which outperformed the same timeframe in 2015 with a 3.2% increase in dollar sales. The East Coast led all regions with a 9.1% increase in dollars.

“Our Fruit Tracker program has provided retailers with category analysis for 12 years, and this new video series is a modern way for us to break down hard-to-understand data into key takeaways. The Fast Facts video series will be quick to watch and timely so that retailers can react to the news of the data and make positive changes to a particular category in the months ahead,” said Brianna Shales, Stemilt communications manager.

The data for the September 2016 edition of Fruit Tracker Fast Facts comes from Nielsen. The East Coast region had a big increase in dollar sales at 9.1%, which can be attributed to a lack of local bags due to a late start to the Eastern U.S. apple crop, and a need for retailers to shift that business to bulk apples. With the shift, bulk apples saw a 4.2% increase in volume sold in September 2016, while bagged apple volumes decreased by 5.2%. This created the 9.1% increase in dollars out East.

“Bulk apples are the backbone of every high-performing apple category, and September was a great start to the season for apples at retail across the country. As retailers look ahead in their apple planning, it’s important to keep the emphasis on bulk with multi-variety promotions at least once a month,” said Shales.

Among top varieties, Gala led the crowd in volume by a mile at 32.9% of the category. Honeycrisp was a distant second at 13.7% but had the highest average retail price at $2.69 per pound. Fuji and Red Delicious rounded out the top 4 apples at 11.2% each. 

Bulk apples made up 66.2% of apple sales, while bags took the remaining 33.8%. The average bulk sale was $0.30 more per pound than bags at $1.72 per pound. 

In September 2016, apples made up 6.4% of produce department sales nationally, with the Central region leading others at 8% of the department. 

“The data in September reaffirmed that apples are a vital part of the produce department throughout the year, and that will continue to be true in the coming winter and spring months. We just wrapped harvest in Washington State and have great supplies of high-quality bulk apples to continue to bolster apple sales in the months to come,” said Shales.

Brianna Shales
Stemilt Growers
Tel: 509-662-9667
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