( Stemilt )

While Honeycrisp sales are up compared with a year ago, other major variety categories lagged in November, according to retail data. 

Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers’ latest Fruit Tracker Fast Facts video analysis of Nielsen retail scan data for the total U.S. reveals the apple category was down more than 7% in volume and value in November compared with November 2016.

“Honeycrisp supplies have increased nationally year-over-year which is why we are seeing significant volume increases,” Brianna Shales, Stemilt communications manager said in the release. She said dollars aren’t growing as fast because of increased promotion activity for Honeycrisp.

Higher ground

Retailers need creative promotions — and more apple varieties on ad — to spark sales in the months ahead to boost apple sales, Shales said in the release.

“Honeycrisp can’t be the only apple on ad as multi-variety ads are key,” she said. “Include gala, granny smith, fuji, red delicious, and select club apple varieties in your late winter and spring ads in order to ensure the apple category is healthy.”

She said putting bulk apples in tote bags at retail can also encourage larger purchases, she said in the release.
Organic apples have performed well, Nielsen data shows, with retail sales dollars up 0.7%. Organic apples now account for 9.9% of all apple sales. 

The average retail price for organic apples was $2.18, a 63-cent premium over conventional apples.

Top club varieties for U.S. retail sales in November were Ambrosia, Jazz and SweeTango, according to the release. SweeTango showed an increase of 12.8% in dollars and 24.6% in volume compared with November 2016.