Commodity: Apricots

Apricots

Commodity Overview

Apricot marketing is key to moving the small stone fruit off the shelves. With variable supply in a short window, consumers need to know when they are available. Their higher price point may put them out of reach of some consumers, so appeal to those more affluent consumers who frequent your store.

Varieties

This commodity is not typically marketed by variety.

Facts

  • Apricots offer a host of health benefits. They contain Vitamin C and lycopene, which have been show to help prevent cancer, heart disease and stroke. They also contain 30% of the recommended daily allowance of beta-carotene, which has been shown to help fight infection, protect eyesight and keep skin, hair and gums healthy.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for apricots: fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C and a good source of potassium.

Sales Strategies

  • Apricots are most often thought of as a snack, but they do have some great cross-merchandising opportunities. Merchandise apricots with dried apricots, pastry mixes, glazes, smoothie mixes, breakfast cereals, jelly-making supplies and canning items.
  • While not an item that can be promoted year-round, apricots can work with spring and summer promotions.
  • Spring: Promote apricots as soon as they are available in good quantity, usually in mid- to late spring. If Easter is later in April, consider adding them to Easter promotions. Include apricots in Mother’s Day offerings.
  • Summer: Promote apricots with other stone fruits all summer. Include them in promotions for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Encourage consumers to add them to summertime fruit salads, and promote them as a quick, healthy snack for on-the-go people.
  • Offer samples of apricots for consumers who have never tried them.
  • Apricots are only available for a short time. Let consumers know when they are coming by posting “Coming Soon” signs several weeks before your first shipment is due to arrive. When apricots do arrive, make consumers aware of their short season by switching those signs to “Only available for a limited time.”
  • Like any stone fruit, proper ripening and storage is important once the fruit leaves the store. Educate consumers on how to ripen and store their apricots before the fruit leaves the store.

Dynamic Displays

  • Don’t stack apricots on your display. Display them only one-level deep to avoid bruising. Use gentle hands when setting up the display. Frequently, apricots will come in packaging that is display ready. The less you have to handle the fragile fruit, the better it will taste when consumers get it home. Keep your display looking fresh by removing bruised or damaged fruit on a regular basis.
  • Place apricots near other stone fruit that bears a similar price tag. While regular peaches and nectarines can be used as loss leaders in the summer, keep apricots near cherries and white-fleshed or specialty varieties that also carry a higher price point.
  • Encourage consumers to be looking for apricots as soon as they arrive by using signs to make it clear that apricot season is here and that it won’t last long.

Food Service

  • Include apricots on your main menu as a side dish. They can be served sliced or you can include them on fruit kabobs. Apricots can also be part of a grilled kabob.
  • Make apricot jelly or jam to serve with breakfast items. Use apricots to create a sweet sauce for desserts. Apricot syrup, wine or brandy is an excellent use for these small, sweet fruits.
  • Use apricots as an unusual topping for ice cream.

In The Backroom

Shipping

36-lb. cartons, 2-layer tray-pack 24-lb. lugs, loose 20-lb. lugs, 2-layer 18-lb. cartons, 2-layer tray-pack 12-lb. cartons 7-lb. cartons, 1-layer 4-lb. consumer pack 9-count clamshell RPC 6413, 6416

Grades

United States U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2 Minimum size, numerical count or description of the pack must be marked on the exterior of the fruit container. California All volume-fill fruit from California must be packed only in 24-lb. containers. The number that makes up 1 pound of fruit identifies the fruit in those containers. Small = 18 or more Medium = 16 Large = 14 Extra large = 12 Jumbo = 10 Extra jumbo = 8 XX jumbo = 7 Sizes 6, 5 and 4 are also available. Tray-packs, or Panta-Paks, will continue to be identified by the actual count per box. Boxes packed under the current row-count designation will remain unchanged.

Handling

Temperature: 32 F, 0 C (Apricots stored in higher temperatures become mealy.) Relative humidity: 90-95% Mist: no Typical shelf life 7 to 14 days Ethylene producer (Do not store with ethylene-sensitive items.)

Availability

Fresh Trends

Download Full Fresh Trends Report
apricots_fresh-trends (636.27 KB)

Nutrition Labels

Equivalents

1 lb. = 3 cups sliced 1-lb. large = 12 to 14 apricots

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