Gala leads U.S. apple category despite volume drop

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Gala leads U.S. apple category despite volume drop

Retail scan data from January in the U.S. shows sales Gala apple volumes dropped 1.6% year-on-year though it remained the leading apple variety in the category, according to release from U.S. fruit company Stemilt.

The Stemilt-O-Graphic highlights the latest set of retail data from Nielsen Fresh Facts, looking at the entire U.S. on an average from Dec. 27, 2015 to Jan. 30, 2016, comparing with same five-week period the year prior.

"Gala continues to be the leading apple variety in the category, but was down 1.6% in volume sales from last year. Red Delicious was flat and Fuji and Granny Smith were each up 1% from last year," said Stemilt marketing director Roger Pepperl.

Meanwhile, Pink Lady volumes inched up to 4.1% of the total apple category.

"Honeycrisp rounded out the top five apples at 8.7% of the category, down nearly 2% from 2015," he added.

In addition, Pacific Rose more than doubled the volume it sold in 2015, and Piñata - which was heavily promoted nationally in January - moved more volume year-on-year as a result.

Apple retail prices continued to increase in the first month of the year. Bulk apples prices were US$0.05 more than they were in December 2015.

Opal apples were retailing for 7.8% more than last year.

And due to smaller fruit size, the percentage of apples sold in bags has climbed. Bulk apples made up 60.9% of category volume in January, while bags accounted for 39.1%.

"With tight supplies on bulk apples this year and most varieties down in size, bags provide a nice promotion vehicle," said Pepperl.

"Retailers can build on the momentum of trademarked apples like Pink Lady and Piñata with springtime promotions on 3lb. Lil Snappesr or 5lb. pouch bags. This drives up the purchase size and helps boost volume sales to the category."


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