Organic Apple Share On The Rise Yet Opportunities Exist To Increase Millennial Purchases
by Stemilt Growers
Posted: 2018-02-08 09:12:49 EST

WENATCHEE, Wash. – The latest Fruit Tracker Fast Facts video from Stemilt highlights a growing organic apple category and shifting volume and dollar contributions for organics and bags. The video analyzes December 2017 U.S. retail scan data from Nielsen and compares it to December 2016.

Retailers were selling 2 percent more apples organically on average in the U.S. in December 2017 than in 2016. Organic apples represented 8.6 percent of the category volume and 11.2 percent of the apple category’s dollars. With increased supplies, extended availability of organic apples, and a widening shopper base, Stemilt communications manager Brianna Shales has several tips for retailers to focus on during the spring months to capture more dollars via organic apples.

“Millennials are the primary organic purchasers today, and this demographic is also the key shopper group with children in the home. Two-pound bags have seen an increase in volume share this year over last, and that is being driven by organic packs. However, retailers may be missing out on selling more volume of organic apples and should look to a three-pound bag and occasionally larger organic bags to appeal to the Millennial parent who has more mouths to feed at home,” said Shales.

Stemilt’s brand of kid-size fruits, Lil Snappers® is available under the company’s Artisan Organics™ label in a three-pound size. The package markets intent to parent shoppers and includes enough apples in each bag to pack in two kid lunches every day during the school week. Stemilt also recently unveiled the Artisan Organics™ Apple Lover pack, which is a 5lb. special value bag for Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious varieties.

Four out of every 10 apple purchases were bags in December 2017, an expected shift given smaller sizing of the Washington State apple crop this year when compared larger sizing in the 2016 crop. The average retail price for bulk apples was up slightly over last year, while bags saw a dip. The average retail price for all apples in December 2017 was $1.61 per pound, down a penny from December 2016.

“We continued to see apple volume and sales metrics down year-over-year in December, but saw nearly 2 percentage points of improvement over November 2017 data. This one month improvement tells us that retailers were able to tap into more apple promotions during the holiday rush, which helped move apples through the register,” said Shales.

Apples contributed 6.1 percent of total produce department dollars in December 2017, with the Central region the only one to beat the average at 6.7 percent of total produce sales coming from apples.

The top 5 varieties remained unchanged from December 2016, with Gala leading the pack, followed by Honeycrisp, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious. Following a trend set in November 2017, Honeycrisp was the only top 5 apple to see increases in both volume and dollar sales last year, with double-digit year-over-year growth for both metrics. In looking at club apples, Ambrosia, Jazz, and Envy led the crowd for volume. Stemilt’s signature variety, Piñata®, made its appearance in the top 10 as its season got underway in December.

“While it’s great to see retailers selling more volume of the popular Honeycrisp apple, it’s ideal for the health of the apple category if multiple apple varieties are on promotion at the same time. Including other key varieties like Gala and Fuji, and select club apples, in feature apple ads at least monthly, is a great way to position the apple category for success as we head into the spring,” said Shales. 


About Stemilt

Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is the leading shipper of sweet cherries and one of the nation’s largest suppliers of organic tree fruits. Stemilt has also demonstrated a commitment to sustainable agriculture and social responsibility since 1989, when founder Tom Mathison launched the company’s Responsible Choice program. For more information about Stemilt, visit and follow Stemilt on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and You Tube.

Source: Stemilt Growers