Posts Tagged “Nielsen Perishables Group”
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.
A presentation on consumer trends by the Nielsen Perishables Group seems to contradict the widely held belief hat fresh produce consumption is just not increasing on a per-capita basis. The talk was presented recently at the annual United Fresh Produce Association Convention in Chicago.
Jonna Parker, a director for that organization, said over the past five years, dollar volume of fresh produce has increased about 25 percent while unit volume is up 10-13 percent.
Of the top 10 growth items in the grocery sector, six are fresh produce, including two value-added products, specialty fruit, avocados, pineapples and cooking greens, with that last category topped by kale, she said.
Statistics show that annually the average American household spends $338 on fresh produce, compared to only $299 on meat, which comes in second place in dollar sales.
While most customers claim produce is the most important department in picking a store, there are still many trips to the market that do not include a produce purchase. More than half of the times that a person goes to the supermarket they do not put a produce item in their basket.
Currently, the average shopper makes about 40 to 50 supermarket trips per year. Parker said higher-income households (in excess of an annual income of $100,000) are far more prolific produce buyers. They make 51 trips per year and purchase about $454 worth of fresh produce. The least affluent consumers make about 40 trips per year to the supermarket and spend just $221 on produce.
Because of stable volume and higher pricing, retail fresh produce sales in 2013 were up 4.8 percent, according to the review edition of the United FreshFacts on Retail Report. The United Fresh Produce Association report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, showed annual trends for top fruits, vegetables, value-added produce and organic commodities.
A strong year in 2013 was enjoyed by organic produce, with sales gains of near 20 percent for both organic fruits and vegetables compared with 2012. Fruits saw strong sales gains in 2013 includingd avocados (11.7 percent), specialty produce (11.5 percent), citrus (8.9 percent) and apples (6.5 percent).
The highest sales gains with vegetables in 2013 were cucumbers (7.8 percent), cooking vegetables (7 percent), packaged salad (6.7 percent) and onions (6.5 percent). Volume gains for fruits in 2013 were topped by avocados (10.3 percent), stone fruit (5.1 percent), citrus (3,3 percent) and apples (2.4 percent).
The top gains in volume for vegetables included peppers (3.9 percent), packaged salad (3.8 percent), and carrots (1.7 percent).
Highlights for 2013 in the report include: produce department sales averaged $47,000 per week per store, up 4.8 percent from 2012; volume sales declined for four of the top 10 vegetable categories; value-added vegetables posted an increase of 15 percent in weekly dollar sales; fresh-cut fruit sales increased 13.2 percent; organic fruit volume up 17.8 percent compared with 2012; and organic vegetable volume 14.2 percent higher than 2012.
Consumer purchases have moved apples ahead of bananas into third place in total retail sales, trailing only berries and packaged salad in the 52 weeks ending May 29, according to Steve Lutz, executive vice president of Nielsen Perishables Group. Lutz said apples showed the biggest retail sales growth of any top major produce category, rising about 16 percent over the previous year.
Among the gains by various apple varieties with higher retail saies in the past year included pink lady, fuji, pinata, Honeycrisp, red delicious, ambrosia, Jazz, granny smith and gala, in addition to niche varieties such as Lady Alice, Envy, Opal and Junami.
The best apple consumers are willing to spend on healthy foods and fresh meals, and convenience and price are not a key purchase driver, Lutz said. With the income to afford choice, consumers are looking for unique flavors are driven to the category in pursuit of health, he said.
Despite challenges in the lackluster economy, Lutz said Nielsen data reveals fresh fruits showed an eight percent increase in retail dollar sales over the past year, accompanied by a 4 percent gain in volume. Produce is an increasingly important food choice for a majority of U.S. households.