Supermarket Perimeter - May 2020 - 64

Produce: Apples & pears

The spring weather in Michigan so far has been pretty good for apple
growing, said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple
Committee, Lansing, Mich.
"A nice gradual warm-up with minimal cold temperatures at night is
exactly what apple growers need," she said. "About 75% of Michigan's
commercial apple crop is grown on the 'Fruit Ridge,' which is the area
along the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Grand Rapids."

Apple trends
Honeycrisp has grown in volume significantly over the years and is now
available most months of the year, said Shales of Stemilt.
"There are also many club varieties on the market now, which is
fun for consumers because they can try new flavors, but important at
retail to explain these new products in the limited space they have,"
she added.
Additionally, organic apples have continued to grow in supply and
have done so in popular flavors (honeycrisp, pink lady, fuji, club apples),
Shales said. Apples are eaten as a snack more than 75% of the time,
which bodes well as more people are eating small meals (snack-size),
64 - MAY 2020

SP_May20.indb 64

she said. Apples are also one of the best fruits for portability because
they won't bruise or spoil quickly if in a backpack or out of refrigeration.
Stemilt also has a cosmic crisp apple coming off its launch year and
Shales anticipates it will have a bigger year in late 2020/early 2021.
"Consumers heard lots about this apple and were excited to try it, so
it will be fun to see how it grows next year," she said.
Sinks of Sage Fruit also is excited about the potential growth with the
cosmic crisp apple.
"We saw extremely high demand for this apple during the 2019 crop
year," he said. "The state (of Washington) sold out of our limited supply
by March. Washington will have more volume in 2020 to help meet the
extremely high consumer demand."
Proprietary apple varieties continue to add valuable dollars to the
apple category, he said.
"Honeycrisp, gala and Fuji are top-performing varieties across the
country," Sinks said.
"While mainline variety sales have declined in recent years, red
delicious and granny smith still contribute significant dollars to the
apple category."

SAGE FRUIT

Sage Fruit continues
to enjoy strong brand
recognition, thanks
in no small part to its
partnership with NASCAR
legend Tony Stewart.

supermarketperimeter.com

5/5/2020 4:11:16 PM


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