February Category Management: Autumn Glory Rocks Apple Category

Yakima, WA – February was National Snack Month and Americans showed that apples and pears remain a favorite snack! Category data shows that both apples and pears were up in sales. Core varieties held their own, maintaining positive growth, while proprietary varieties pulled the category down, with the exception of Autumn Glory®. Autumn Glory growth was up more than 400%, helping to build momentum. Organics continue to power apple sales, while pear sales continue to increase.

Autumn Glory apples rocked the apple category by replacing other varieties on the shelf! Autumn Glory rose by 327% in dollars, and 436% in volume, placing them as #15 in dollar sales. Gala (+2.9%), Honeycrisp (+2.6%), and Granny Smith (+1.8%) were the runners up; other proprietary varieties were in double digit decline.

“The excitement around Autumn Glory growth is intoxicating. We have been fielding consumer call after call asking about Autumn Glory, and ‘where can I find the “caramel and cinnamon” apples?’ One woman called me last week and said that her grocery store ran out of Autumn Glory. She watched another shopper take the last five bags, and she commented that she should have jumped on her and stolen one for herself! The Autumn Glory craze is truly contagious!” says Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Communications Manager.

As stated above, Gala, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith all had positive growth in the month of February, helping to maintain category growth. Honeycrisp and Gala alone represented nearly half of the apple dollar sales in February. Gala pulled in the top volume, at 51.5 million pounds. Gala dollars were up to $70.2 million, and the average price was up 9.4% to $1.36/lb. Honeycrisp led apple dollars at $85.7 million, which was up 2.6% from last year. Honeycrisp volume was at 33.7 million pounds, up 7.2%. The average price was down -4.3% at $2.54.

Organic apple dollars were up 5.2%, and volume was up 7.6%. Gala and Honeycrisp were the main players here, representing more than half of organic apple dollars. Gala led at $13.1 million, and Honeycrisp followed at $9 million.

Conventional pears are on the rise, though organic pear sales took a turn in February. With conventional pears, Bartlett led at $14 million, growing by 23.7%. Anjou and Bosc followed. Organic pears dropped -5.4% in dollars, and -7% in volume. Organic Anjou was the workhorse here, accounting for 67% of the category, up +6% in growth. Other organic pear varieties, however, saw a large decrease, and pulled the category down.

Superfresh Growers® owns the Autumn Glory apple and holds the exclusive worldwide rights to grow and sell this unique apple variety. Autumn Glory apples have a very sweet, firm flesh with hints of cinnamon and subtle notes of caramel. The apple will be available this season from November through April, but as volumes increase, the apple will be available year-round. Superfresh Growers is a fifth-generation company dedicated to delivering flavorful, high quality apples, pears, cherries and apricots to families around the world. They pride themselves on being category management experts. For questions regarding category data, reach out to your Superfresh Growers representative today.

This information is based on IRI Freshlook® data in regards to the last four weeks, ending February 24, 2019.