Overview of the organic and pear season by Catherine Gipe-Stewart of Domex Superfresh Growers, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on September 28, 2020.
Superfresh Growers have recently seen,” says Catherine Gipe-Stewart. Both categories were up nearly 30% in the month of August. Organic apples were up 30% in dollars, while organic pears were up 29% in volume.
Since COVID-19, organic dollars have been climbing, and this is the third month in a row where apple growth has been up more than 19%.
“The overall apple category has maintained good sales as we emerge from summer, despite a late Labor Day and a COVID-disrupted back-to-school schedule. Apple volume was up 2% in volume and flat in dollars, due to a 2% lower retail price average of $1.71. Honeycrisp sales led the way, up 17%, with Fuji apples following close behind at +11%, according to Nielsen data of the last four weeks ending”.
Pear demand rebounded in August to 2% growth in dollars, due to a 7% rise in average price per pound.
Bartlett pears led the way with 8% growth in dollars, despite -4% in volume, reflecting a shorter California Bartlett pear crop. The average Bartlett price per pound was up a whopping 13% over last year. Gipe-Stewart shares: “We are already seeing an orderly and firm market transition from California to Pacific NW pears.”
She adds: “Asian pears continue to do exceptionally well, up 31% in dollars, and 18% in volume. Superfresh Asian pear harvest is under way, and we are seeing a very nice crop.”
Organic apples continue to sell well, up 30% in dollars and 23% in volume during August. Strong organic growth has become a trend during COVID-19, with June up 12% in dollars and 19% in volume, and July up 28% in dollars and 27% in volume. During August, organic dollar share represented an outstanding 15% of the category. Organic pears, rebounded, as expected, with the advent of the NW pear crop, up 5% in dollars and 29% in units, due to a -19% reduction in retail average versus last year.
“To support the current packaging preferences, we are offering the Superfresh Kids™ bag program. Each apple variety has a unique game on the bag and is specially designed for little hands. The fun graphics and games attract the attention of kids in-store. Superfresh Kids bags are available in Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Honeycrisp apples,” says Gipe-Stewart.
Apple and pear harvest is about half-way through. All new crop pear varieties are now available. “We are actively packing new crop Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Red Delicious. Autumn Glory® apple harvest is just about to start, followed by Cosmic Crisp® and Pink Lady® apples. We are here to support retailers and foodservice during COVID-19, and to continue to supply safe, fresh, and nutritious Northwest fruit,” she concludes.
The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.
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