Sales of this summer fruit remain popular, although the likelihood of a nectarine purchase fell four percentage points from last year.

NectarinesThe likelihood of purchase increased according to income for the fifth straight year. Specifically, an annual income of $50,000 seems to be the dividing line for nectarine purchases. Consumers earning more than that amount annually were more likely to buy nectarines than those earning less than $50,000 – a trend that continues from last year.

Shoppers in the Northeast and West tied for the top regional spot with regard to purchases, a title that went exclusively to consumers in the West last year. The likelihood of purchase generally increased according to age as well.

Consumers with kids at home were more likely to buy the stone fruit, at 34%, than those without kids, at 26%. The likelihood of purchase increased as the number of children in the household grew.

Consumers like ripe stone fruit. Twenty-eight percent of shoppers said they always buy ripe nectarines, and 26% said they prefer to buy them ripe. Nearly one in four consumers (39%) said they felt comfortable selecting ripe fruit for immediate consumption.

While nearly three-quarters of nectarine buyers said they bought conventionally grown fruit, 23% said they bought organic nectarines at least some of the time, a number exactly even with Fresh Trends 2012.