Posts Tagged “Ambrosia apples”
The shipping of Michigan apples should make a major rebound this season over a year ago.
Both volume and sizing of Michigan apples should be up as the USDA predicts 1.18 billion pounds, a 40 percent increase from the 840 million pounds produced in 2017.
While it may be a large volume crop, total shipments are not expected to set a record. In 2016, Michigan apple shipments set a record of 1.28 billion pounds.
The Michigan Apple Committee reports a favorable crop to good springtime weather and no major weather incidents such as summertime hail.
The apple harvest in Michigan is underway and BelleHarvest Sales Inc. of Belding, MI is reporting a “great” crop that has size, sugar and color.
North Bay Produce of Traverse, MI launched its season with the paula reds variety on August 17th describing the growing season a pretty good, with great pollination and a really nice crop.
Glei’s Inc. of Hillsdale, MI kicked off its primary early summer varieties around Labor Day with galas city growing conditions as being much better than a year ago when there was frost damage. The company normally has apple shipments lasting 10 months, but the season in 2017 was shorter with poor quality.
Envy Apple Shipments
The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, B.C. is forecasting a 50 pecent increase in shipments of its Envy apples this season. The Envy apple is now shipped year around with the combination of its domestic loadings from Washington, as well as being imported from New Zealand. The variety has been described as large, red, very sweet and crisp.
Oppy also is expecting a 10 percent increase in its shipments of the Jazz variety. A big difference from last season is the company is expects good sizing for Jazz apples.
The Pacific Rose variety of apple will also receive emphasis this season, which has been sold out of Washington for 15 years. It is know as being very popular in China and in Vietnam. The taste of the Pacific Rose has been compared to that of the fuji apple.
Oppy also will be shipping Ambrosia apples in larger volume, whose originals are from British Columbia. The Ambrosia comes from BC Tree Fruit of Kelowna, B.C.
Oppy did not cite volumes for any of these varieties.
Demand is hot for Ambrosia™ apples this summer, as they continue to be one of the brightest items in supermarket produce departments. Recently released scan data from Nielsen Perishables Group revealed that for the most recent four week period through June 27, Ambrosia™ and Honeycrisp were the only two apples in the top 10 varieties that generated an increase in sales dollars. All other top 10 varieties declined.
According to Robb Myers, Vice President of Sales for CMI, the data shows that consumers continue to look for highly flavored apples like Ambrosia™. “It’s pretty impressive when you consider that in the top 10 selling apple varieties nationally, only Ambrosia™ and Honeycrisp generated dollar increases. Ambrosia™ and Honeycrisp–that’s pretty good company.”
Myers said a big part of the sales increase is a result of a longer Ambrosia™ domestic season for CMI as well as a strong import season for Chilean grown Ambrosia™ He added, “Our goal was to align sales of our stronger late-storage Ambrosia™ with imported products to ensure continuity of supply right through the new crop out of Washington in early September.”
There is still room for incremental Ambrosia™ growth according to Steve Lutz, Vice President of Marketing for CMI. “The Nielsen data shows that during the most recent four weeks, only about 50% of supermarkets carried Ambrosia™,” said Lutz.
“It’s quite remarkable that only half the retailers in the country are carrying one of the hottest selling apples in the category. In a year where cherry sales are down, generating incremental apple category dollars with Ambrosia is an easy win.”
Lutz says that supplies are excellent and CMI will be running Ambrosia™ promotions with retailers through the month of August rolling into new crop at the beginning of September.
Pushed by national promotions and a 25 percent increase in distribution, Ambrosia apples are riding a retail wave all the way to the cash register. Over the past 13 weeks, a record 14,022 supermarkets put Ambrosia on the shelves for consumers. As a result, Nielsen data shows Ambrosia ranked No. 9 in total dollars among all apple varieties during this period, and it had the strongest growth of any apple in the top 10 nationally.
Ambrosia has broken into a new level,” Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, said in a press release. “The biggest challenge for any club variety apple is to make the jump from being a niche item to a year-round item. The sales data show that Ambrosia have bridged the gap to becoming a ‘must have’ apple for retailers.”
With a large national crop, apple prices and retail shelf prices have been lower throughout the entire 2014-15 season. Over the most recent 13-week period from November through January, Nielsen scan data shows that total U.S. apple dollars increased less than 1 percent, while volume increased only slightly by 2.3 percent.
In contrast, during this same period Ambrosia apple sales skyrocketed and dollars jumped 19 percent. The increase in Ambrosia sales led performance of the top 10 apple varieties during the period. Honeycrisp dollars increased by 15 percent, followed by Pink Lady (up 7 percent) and Granny Smith (up 2 percent). All other apple varieties in the top 10 declined in year-over-year sales during the period.
“It’s just really gratifying to see consumers and retailers alike discover Ambrosia,” said Lutz. “The sales success speaks for itself.”