Feb. 10, 2021

Solid Start to the Year for Apples and Pears

January apple and pear data provide a glimpse of the year ahead. Trends to heed: organic apple and pear sales continue their boom, Cosmic Crisp® apple rises in rank in its sophomore year, and proprietary apples, such as Autumn Glory®, drive category growth. The following information is based on Nielsen reports ending January 23, 2021.

Organic apple and pear sales were on fire in January, as they have been for much of 2020. This is a trend, as organics assume a higher share of both categories. Organic pears were up an astronomical 34% in dollars and 38% in volume. Organics represented 14% of total pear sales and 11% of volume. Organic apples represented 16% of total apple sales and 12% of volume. Crop year to date, organic apple sales were up 10%, and pounds were up 4%, with an average retail at $2.26 per pound.

New Superfresh Organics packaging is available for pears and apples

Superfresh Organics® new stately purple packaging is available for both pears and apples. The bright pops of color create eye-catching grocery displays, and the purple signifies to consumers that these products are organic. Superfresh Growers is the number one grower of organic pears in the United States and a leading grower of organic apples. Our produce is grown by implementing integrated pest management (IPM), cultivating the land to be a biodiverse system that synchronizes with nature. We are proud to make a positive environmental impact while growing high-quality apples and pears.

Cosmic Crisp® apple is enjoying another solid year, jumping immediately to #11 in the apple rankings, with 46% YoY dollar growth and 71% volume growth. Cosmic Crisp will successfully be a top apple for the remainder of 2021. Anticipate it to climb the apple rankings throughout the year, especially with new crop fall sales. The excitement around the apple and expected volume will continue to launch this Apple of Big Dreams™.

Influencer Chantea McIntyre and family enjoy Cosmic Crisp apple

Proprietary apples continue to add unique flavors to the apple category, helping build dollar growth. Autumn Glory® apple, exclusively grown by Superfresh Growers, dramatically outperformed the apple category, up 47% in dollars and 105% in volume YoY.

Autumn Glory showing off with its beautiful golden background and rosy blush. Photo credit: Murielle Banackissa

"We are feeling optimistic about 2021," explains Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Communications Manager. "Many Americans still cook at home and use apples and pears as a key staple produce item. With great shelf-life, durability, and delicious flavors, we are set to continue seeing growth this coming year. It's exciting to see our pride and joy of Autumn Glory and Cosmic Crisp do well, maintaining a national presence and being asked for by name. We feel proud that we can bring delicious and unique flavors to the kitchen table."

Overall, apple sales dollars were up 5%, and volume was flat YoY, thanks to a retail average increase of $.11/pound, or 7%. Honeycrisp apples topped the charts in dollars at $89 million. They were up 11% in dollar sales and 2% in volume. Average retail was $2.42/lb, up 9% YoY. Gala apples topped the charts in volume (49 million kg). They were up 3% in sales dollars and down -3% in volume. Average retail was up 6% YoY to $1.29/lb. Fuji and Granny Smith's sales dollars were up 3% and 15%, respectively. For January, apple promotions were down -33%, a trend that needs to be reversed for the number two fruit item in the produce department. Honeycrisp was again the most promoted apple.

Overall, pear sales were great again in January, up 14% in dollars and 5% in volume YoY. Average price was up 8% to $1.64/lb. Bartlett pears dominated sales ($18 million) and volume (12 million kg). They represented 41% of dollars and 44% of volume share. Average retail was $1.53/lb, up 12%! Anjou was second in dollars ($11 million ) and volume (7 million kg). Average retail was $1.63/lb. Red Pears did well because they were heavily promoted, up 7% in dollar sales YoY. Bulk pear sales were 80% dollars and 78% volume. Bartlett pears were the most heavily promoted, with 20% sold on promo.

Superfresh Growers supports their retail and food service partners during COVID-19 and continues to supply safe, fresh, and nutritious fruit.