Top 5 Things You Need to Know
- Taste: Apples come in a variety of flavors, from sweet and tangy like the Honeycrisp to tart like the granny smith.
- Selection: Consumers will want to choose apples that are firm to the touch with no soft spots. Apple colors vary by variety.
- Use: Apples have a variety of uses, including snacks, salads, sauces, baked goods and even frozen. See the usage guide for variety specifics.
- Merchandising: Give those apples some room. Provide plenty of varieties from which consumers can choose and let your display take up plenty of space, especially during the fall.
- Health: An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. Apples can be instrumental in protecting against cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.
On the shelves
With all the apple varieties available, you have to help consumers decide what they want. Offering lots of varieties is great and can increase sales, but it can also discourage customers from trying something new because they are so overwhelmed with the choices. Beef up your apple category by offering about 12 different varieties in large stores and seven in smaller stores. Carry a mix of types, sizes and price points. Be sure to clearly label and separate each variety.
Many newer, specialty varieties carry a higher price point than traditional varieties. Adding one or two of these varieties to your display can boost the whole category and bring consumers back for more.
Keep those apples looking great with a first-in, first-out stocking technique. Avoid giving your customers mush instead of crunch by placing apples carefully on the display — no dumping. Move older stock to the top and front of the display, and carefully cull bruised, cut, punctured or discolored apples.
One size does not fit all when it comes to apples. Take advantage of the many apple varieties to offer different sizes targeted for alternate uses – from a pie to the main dish.
Offer bagged, sliced apples so moms and dads have a convenient way to add a healthy punch to their child’s lunch. Offer bulk and bagged apples to create interest and more options for consumers.
Create an eye-catching display using apples’ natural brilliance in color to your advantage by alternating color varieties. Add full-color, high impact graphics to the display to double the colorful impact of your display and increase your sales. Make that eye-catching display extend into the aisle by creating waterfall displays, but keep in mind that apples ripen 10 times faster at room temperature, and they should not be unrefrigerated for more than 48 hours.
Making the sale
Get shoppers thinking about different uses for apples by putting tie-in products on the display. Offer caramel and candy apple kits and wraps and caramel dip near your apple display. Cater to your shoppers’ natural association of apples and pie by merchandising pie shells, pie toppings and baking supplies nearby. Note the best baking apples with signs and recipes. While consumers love apple pie, no one likes the task of coring and peeling the apple. Make it simple for your apple shoppers by offering peelers and corers near the display.
Take advantage of the holiday spirit to move apples. Apples are a natural for holiday gift boxes and baskets. Their beautiful red color makes them a perfect tie-in for the winter holidays. Offer gift boxes and baskets to increase impulse buying and add interest to your displays. Winter holidays are the perfect time to draw attention to apples as they are often used both in holiday dishes and as a decoration. Decorate a tree with bright red apples or create a centerpiece for the display that encourages consumers to consider apples as a decoration. Offer holiday recipes that include apples.
With new varieties appearing frequently, take advantage of their newness to offer consumers a taste. Sample some of the newer, higher-priced varieties to create interest and boost sales. Even if they like the taste, the endless variety of apples can frustrate shoppers if they don’t know which apples work well in baking versus snacking. Post a usage chart near the display or note each variety’s best uses on its price sign.
As the seasons change, so should your strategy for moving apples out of the store. Take advantage of natural tie-ins to sell apples.
Fall conjures up images of falling leaves and apple orchards, so take advantage of the fact that consumers’ minds are focused on apples. Create a harvest theme in your produce department with apples as a featured commodity. Hay bales, wheelbarrows and corn stalks add ambience as the weather outside cools down. Take advantage of National Apple Month, a 90-day event from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30 to promote apples.
When kids head back to school in August and September, parents are always looking for a healthy snack to send in their lunches. Use a back-to-school theme to encourage shoppers to add apples to the lunchtime menu. Set up a chalkboard near the display and use notebooks and pencils as decorations to draw attention to the apple’s versatility.
Use the winter months to attract health-conscious consumers. Promote the health benefits of apples to consumers hoping to drop a few pounds at the start of the new year. Keep them buying in February as part of American Heart Month. Let consumers know that people who eat apples and apple products have a lower risk of developing heart disease.
Keep apples top of mind in the spring and summer months by including them in grilling and picnic displays.
On the plate
Apples can make their way onto the menu in more than just pie and cobbler. Cash in on their popularity with both kids and adults when planning your menu. Offer apple slices as an alternative to french fries on children’s menus. Include them as part of a fruit cup for both children and adults. Adding apples to salads and salad bars adds flavor and interest to the same old offerings. A seasonal salad offered in the fall plays on consumers’ preconceived notions of fall and may attract more interest.
Apples are always popular in pastries, pies, breads and breakfast foods. Offer apple topping for pancakes and waffles on the breakfast menu. Hot apple cider tempts customers with its pungent aroma and warmth on a crisp, fall day.
Nutrition and health
Apples offer many health benefits. From cancer-fighting phytochemicals to reducing blood pressure and helping with weight loss, apples deserve their reputation as a disease-fighter. Research also shows that eating apples may improve a person’s memory and may help protect against the damage that leads to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Nutrient content descriptors
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for apples: fat-free, saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and an excellent source of fiber.
At the register
3438 – Ambrosia
4101 – braeburn, small
4103 – braeburn, large
3065 – cameo, small
3066 – cameo, large
4104 – cortland, small
4106 – cortland, large
4128 – cripps, pink, small
4130 – cripps, pink, large
3010 – cripps, red, small
3301 – cripps, red, large
4108 – crispin/mutsu, small, East/Central
4109 – crispin/mutsu, small, West
4110 – crispin/mutsu, large, East/Central
4111 – crispin/mutsu, large, West
3604 – emmons
4124 – empire, small, East/Central
4125 – empire, small, West
4126 – empire, large, East/Central
4127 – empire, large, West
4120 – fiesta
4129 – fuji, small
4131 – fuji, large
4132 – gala, small, East/Central
4133 – gala, small, West
4134 – gala, large, East/Central
4135 – gala, large, West
4097 – ginger gold, small
4096 – ginger gold, large
4136 – golden delicious, small, East/Central
4021 – golden delicious, small, West
4137 – golden delicious, large, East/Central
4020 – golden delicious, large, West
3285 – golden delicious, extra large, West
4138 – granny smith, small, East/Central
4139 – granny smith, small, West
4018 – granny smith, large, East/Central
4017 – granny smith, large, West
3283 – honeycrisp
4144 – jonagold, small, East/Central
4145 – jonagold, small, West
4146 – jonagold, large, East/Central
4147 – jonagold, large, West
4148 – jonathon, small, East/Central
4149 – jonathan, small, West
4150 – jonathan, large, East/Central
4151 – jonathan, large, West
4152 – mcintosh, small, East/Central
4153 – mcintosh, small, West
4019 – mcintosh, large, East/Central
4154 – mcintosh, large, West
4128 – pink lady, small
4130 – pink lady, large
4167 – red delicious, small, East/Central
4015 – red delicious, small, West
4168 – red delicious, large, East/Central
4016 – red delicious, large, West
3284 – red delicious, extra large, West
4169 – rome, small, East/Central
4170 – rome, small, West
4171 – rome, large, East/Central
4172 – rome, large, West
4185 – york, small
4187 – york, large
In the backroom
50-lb. field crates
40- to 45-lb. cartons/boxes, tray-packed
40-lb. bushel baskets/cartons, tray- or cell-packed
40-lb. bushel baskets/cartons, loose pack
40-lb. 11⁄8-bushel cartons, loose pack
40-lb. cartons, 10 4-lb. film bags
40-lb. cartons, 16-8s tray wrapped
40-lb. cartons, 8 5-lb. bags
38- to 42-lb. cartons/boxes, loose pack
37- to 43-lb. cartons, cell-packed
36-lb. cartons, 12 3-lb. bags
28-lb. euro box
20-lb. 1⁄2-bushel cartons, loose
3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 10-lb. polyethylene or cello bags
4-, 8-, 12-count clamshells
600-lb. tote bin,300 lb. half tote bin
RPC 6419, 6423, 6425, 6428
Sliced consumer packs
1-lb., 2-lb., 14-oz., 6-oz., 3-oz. and 2-oz. bags
1-lb. trays, with or without dip
3.5-oz. trays with dip
3-, 5- and 10-lb. polyethylene or cello bags (sizes range from 21⁄4 to 23⁄4 inches in diameter)
Cartons, 12 3-lb. bags or 8 5-lb. bags
1⁄3 carton, two-layer tray packs; 4- and 6-lb. carton
42 lb. bushel boxes
64 2-oz. bags
140 2-oz. bags
200 2-oz. bags
small – 100s-216s
large – 88s-70s
extra-large – 64s-36s
U.S. Extra Fancy
U.S. No. 1
Combination grades (Combinations of: U.S. extra fancy and U.S. fancy; U.S. fancy and U.S. No. 1; andU.S.No 1 andU.S.utility are permitted when at least 50% of the apples in any lot meet the requirements of the higher grade.)
Washington state grades
Washington Extra Fancy
Washington grades are a higher standard than the corresponding U.S. grade.
Washington has implemented minimum internal condition standards for all grades of delicious apples.
Temperature: 32 to34 F, 0 to1.1 C
Relative humidity: 90-95%
Typical shelf life: 90 to 240 days (under refrigeration)
Ethylene producer (Do not store with ethylene-sensitive items.)
Odor-sensitive (Will absorb odors produced by potatoes, bulb onions or any strong-flavored item.)
Moderately sensitive to freezing injury.
It is especially important that controlled-atmosphere apples are refrigerated at the proper temperature because they are more susceptible to becoming mealy.
Fresh Trends 2012
- Consumers with kids at home (87%) are more likely to buy apples than those without kids (80%).
- The number of consumers who were likely to purchase apples increased five percentage points over 2010.
- Red delicious apples are still the most popular apples that consumers prefer to purchase.
Pounds sold in 2011 – 1,671,137,025
Pounds sold in 2010 – 1,752,028,942
Average price per pound in 2011 – $1.49
Average price per pound in 2010 – $1.42
Retail sales in 2011 -- $2,495,569,190 Percent of total produce sales 2011 – 7%
Retail sales in 2010 -- $2,488,275,346 Percent of total produce sales 2010 – 7.1%
Figures do not include Wal-Mart sales.
Source: FreshLook Marketing