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Consumers turn to apples in challenging times

domeAmericans are stocking up on apples as they contend with the COVID-19 crisis, especially Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Granny Smith. Consumers are favoring packaged apples, which jumped up 34 percent in volume in the last four weeks ending March 21, and likely more than that since. As consumers hunker down, they are turning to apples, which are not only a staple, but juicy, nutritious and kid-friendly. They are also readily available and easy to handle along the whole supply chain.

Apples jumped to the top of the fruit category in March. They are up 22.3 percent in volume and up 13.6 percent in sales, year-over-year for the four weeks ending March 22. Gala was the lead volume mover, representing 28 percent of all apple volume. Gala apples were up 13 percent in dollars, and up 25 percent in volume. Honeycrisp reigned for apple dollars, representing 26 percent of overall apple sales. Honeycrisp apples were up 21 percent in dollars and up 39 percent in volume.

Packaged apple sales have accelerated during March, most likely due to COVID-19; they provide convenience and an impression of security. Bag sales were up 25 percent in dollars, and up 34 percent in volume. Top apple varieties for bag volume were Gala, Fuji, and Honeycrisp. Bagged pear sales were also up 2.9 percent, and the pear category is beginning to see similar packaging trends to apples. Organic apples are also seeing an increase, up 22 percent in sales, and up 34 percent in volume. Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady were the top five (in order) for organic volume in March.

Apples and pears are easy for grocery operations in these challenging times. Superfresh Growers has multiple display options, including floor bins and display-ready cartons that make life easier on produce department and supply chain operations staff. These options all display on the pallet, and are shipped display-ready. Superfresh Growers is also able to support direct-to-store-deliveries.

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