With a variety of colors and flavors to choose from, apples remain the second most-popular commodity in the produce department. More than eight in 10 consumers selected the crunchy fruit in the past year, making it the No. 2 fruit in Fresh Trends 2013. The likelihood of an apple purchase slipped two percentage points from last year.
Affluence and age affected apple purchases. The likelihood of a purchase increased according to income (shoppers earning more than $100,000 annually were some of the most likely to buy the fruit) and decreased according to age, up to age 58.
While purchases were spread pretty evenly among the regions last year, this year shoppers in the Northeast were more likely to buy apples than those in other regions.
This convenient fruit remains a favorite with kids. Families with children were more likely to put apples in their carts, at 87%, than those without kids, at 76%. The likelihood of purchase increased as the number of children grew.
Dark-crimson red delicious apples were consumers’ top choice – about one-fifth of the population prefers this variety – a trend that has remained constant over the past five years. This year consumers ranked the tart granny smith apple as their No. 2 variety, and galas and fujis overtook golden delicious (last year’s No. 2 variety). Sweet-tart varieties like macintosh and Honeycrisp continue to be top contenders as well.
The convenience and portability of apples led 91% of consumers to use the sweet fruit as a snack food. More than four in 10 shoppers incorporated apples into recipes, and 36% served them as a dessert.
When it came to organic purchases, one-third of apple buyers said they bought organic fruit at least some of the time – a number up five percentage points from last year. Shoppers earning more than $100,000 annually and those aged 21-39 were most likely to make a periodic organic apple purchase. Eight percent of buyers said they always bought organic apples.
81% of customers purchased apples within the past 12 months.