For the first time in more than a decade, apples took the top spot as the most popular fruit or vegetable.
Last year apples tied with bananas for first place, but they took the title outright in Fresh Trends 2016, with 83% of all consumers saying they bought apples in the past year.
Consumers still prefer the dark-skinned red delicious variety over all others. Fujis, galas and granny smiths were equally popular, with 12% of buyers saying they liked those varieties.
Preference for Honeycrisp was up two percentage points from last year, which put that variety ahead of the yellow-skinned golden delicious apple this year.
Income and age have an effect on apple purchases. Consumers age 21-39 were a bit more likely to buy apples than those age 40 and older. Shoppers earning less than $25,000 annually were the least likely overall to buy apples, as was the case last year.
Whole or sliced, apples are a great treat for kids. Eighty-five percent of consumers with kids at home said they purchased apples within the past year, while only 82% of those without kids said the same. Consumers with three or more kids at home comprised the group most likely to buy the fruit, followed by Hispanic shoppers.
Because of their versatility, apples were a prime pick to use in consumer recipes (43% of consumers said they used apples this way last year). But more than twice as many apple buyers (88%) said they used apples as a snack — which continues to be the fruit’s main use, according to consumers.
Interest in organic apples continues to climb. Eleven percent of apple buyers said they always purchased organic apples (8% said so last year). More than one-third of buyers (35%) said they bought organic apples at least some of the time, a number up eight percentage points from last year.
83% of customers purchased apples within the past 12 months.