U.S.: Autumn Glory apples gain ground in February while conventional pears trump organic

April 02 , 2019

There were increased sales of both apples and pears during February in the U.S., with core varieties of both fruits remaining popular across markets.

While there was a notable upward trajectory of conventional pears, it was organic apples that had the greatest increase in that fruit’s profits. One apple variety in particular built a notable momentum in sales: Autumn Glory, owned by Superfresh Growers. This variety rose a whopping increase of more than four-fold in dollars.

According to IRI Freshlook data, the Autumn Glory apple rose in sales by more than five-fold in volume. Superfresh communications manager Catherine Gipe-Stewart attributes this to the excitement surrounding the apple’s sweet “caramel and cinnamon” flavor.

Though a momentous trend, Superfresh said the variety's sales were still well behind others for the month, including Gala (up 2.9% in sales), Honeycrisp (up 2.6% in sales), and Granny Smith (up 1.8% in sales). In fact, Gala and Honeycrisp alone represented almost half of all U.S. apple sales in February, with Gala pulling in US$70.2 million and Honeycrisp earning US$85.7 million.

Overall, organic apples experienced greater dollar growth (5.2%) as well as volume sold (7.6%). Gala and Honeycrisp led the pack once again for this category, earning US$13.1 million and US$9 million respectively.

However, while these types of apples proved successful across the board, other proprietary varieties were in decline for the same period.

Meanwhile, organic pears dropped 5.4% in dollars and 7% in volume sold. While the organic Anjou served as the outlier, up 6% in growth, and accounting for 67% of the category’s sales, Superfresh said its popularity was not enough to compensate for the poor sales of other organic pear varieties.

It was conventional pears that proved more popular during this period. Leading sales were Bartlett, whose 24% rise in sales had the variety earning US$14 million. Also lucrative were conventional varieties Anjou and Bosc.

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