From apple pie to apple salad, apples are a produce staple year-round but especially in the fall. This all-American fruit can boost produce department profits when marketed well during peak season. But don’t forget about apples at other times of the year. Many consumers like to eat the crunchy fruit year-round. Expand the category by offering some of the higher-priced proprietary varieties to bring in even more sales.
- Apples can reduce blood pressure and help with weight loss as well as improve memory. Apples may also may protect against damage that leads to brain disorders.
- Eating apples can help keep your teeth healthy.
- Apples have also been shown to help fight certain types of cancer.
- 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.
- Apple sales took a slight dip in 2015, falling by almost $200 million in sales. However, the popular fruit still makes up 6.1% of all produce sales, according to IRI/Fresh Look Marketing.
- The apple category continues to benefit from newer premium varieties that bring in a higher sales ring.
- Apples were the most-purchased fruit in 2015, snatching the top spot from bananas.
- While red delicious apples remain the most popular, fujis, galas and granny smiths came in close behind.
- Apples are most popular as a snack, but more than 40% of consumers say they use them in recipes.
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- Apples are big seller all by themselves. Use that popularity to sell other items as well. Cross-merchandise apples with caramel and candy apple kits, dips, pie shells, pie toppings and baking supplies, and apple peelers and corers.
- Take advantage of sampling to introduce to lesser-known, higher-priced varieties.
- Keep apples at the forefront of consumers’ minds year-round by planning promotions around them in all seasons.
- Fall: Promote apples heavily in the fall to play on consumers’ natural inclination to buy apples as part of their fall purchases. Include apples in a harvest theme or pumpkin patch promotion. Take advantage of National Apple Month, a 90-day event from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30 to promote apples. Don’t forget to promote apples for back-to-school lunchboxes.
- Winter: Make apples a big part of the winter holidays. Include them in gift boes and baskets and encourage consumers to think of apples as a holiday decoration as well as a side dish or dessert. After the winter holidays are over, consumers head to the gym and start looking to eat healthier. Promote the health benefits of apples in the cold winter months.
- Spring: Apples might not be top-of-mind in the spring. Keep them moving by offering some recipes for Easter that include apples.
- Summer: Apple pie is the obvious summer promotion, but get consumers thinking beyond pie by offering fruit salad recipes or ideas for apple side dishes. Take advantage of the fact that many summer holidays aren’t complete without a fresh apple pie, so tie in baking supplies during the hot months.
- Offer consumers a wide variety of options from which to choose. Don’t just rely on old favorites like red delicious and granny smith. Bring in some newer varieties like Honeycrisp and Ambrosia.
- While those higher-priced proprietary varieties can bring in the sales, they can also turn consumers off when not placed properly on the display. Group similarly priced varieties together to cut down on sticker shock for consumers when they see the higher-priced varieties.
- Keep apples on refrigerated tables to keep them looking their freshest.
- Consumers don’t want to take home a bruised apple so be careful when putting them on the display. Don’t dump apples or stack them too high. Avoid the potential for apples falling off the display and bruising the bottom layer. Keep your displays well-stocked and remove damaged fruit immediately.
- Different size apples meet different needs, so keep both large and small apples on your display. Market smaller varieties to parents and kids looking for a lunch box staple. Push larger apples as a good fit for cooking.
- Offer apples in bags or clamshells along with bulk apples.
- Use apples’ vibrant and varied colors to create an eye-catching display.
- Give apples plenty of space, especially in the fall. A large display will encourage consumers to take a look.
- Apples are a sweet addition to any meal, both as a dessert and as a side dish. Offer apple slices as a side dish for adults as well as kids.
- Consider putting apples on the breakfast plate as a topping for waffles are pancakes. Fried apples are a popular breakfast dish.
- Include apples in pies and cobblers.
- Include apples in salad bars and on salads. Consider adding dried apples to certain salads.
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 Tri-wall bins 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. bowl 1-lb. trays, with or without dip 3.5-oz. trays with dip Foodservice packs 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 Sliced 3-lb. bags 64 2-oz. bags 140 2-oz. bags 200 2-oz. bags Sizes small – 100s-216s large – 88s-70s extra-large – 64s-36s
United States U.S. Extra Fancy U.S. 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; and U.S. No 1 and U.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 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 to 34 F, 0 to1.1 C Relative humidity: 90-95% Mist: No 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.