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Stemilt Nielsen data shows gap between apple volumes and sales

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January 31, 2024 WENATCHEE, Wash – Keep your apples close, and your promotions closer!

Stemilt BB #:113654 Marketing Director, Brianna Shales, shares the latest round of available apple data from Nielsen that looks at category performance November 30 to December 30, 2023.

Stemilt - Brianna Shales

With volumes up and dollars down from the same time last year, Shales explains frequent multi-variety promotions pose as a solution to closing the gap between apple volumes and sales this season.

“The volume of apples selling is now above last year’s, but only by 0.34%,” says Shales. “We’re actually selling the same amount of apples as last year, but sales are down 7% because the retail price was $1.99 on average last year in December, and it is $1.85 now. We’re heading in the right direction when it comes to selling more apples, but there’s still room for promotion to help close the gap retailers are feeling from their dollars being down last year.”

Retailers have adjusted their strategies since the start of the season, but to bring volume up, frequent multi-variety promotions will be what helps elevate dollars. Giving the core varieties like Fuji, Cosmic Crisp® and Honeycrisp attention through promotion can help lift the category as a whole. Honeycrisp made up 28% in apple sales in December and 23% of total apple volume.

It’s key to the category’s success but promoting Honeycrisp alongside other varieties helps shoppers increase the amount of apples they purchase. Frequent multi-variety promotions, and promotions on organic apples are two ways retailers can see category growth this season.

“In December, organic apple volumes were up 11.8% over last year and dollars up 3.8%,” says Shales. “This better matches the increased organic crop and shows that retailers are responding to promotion opportunities on organics. There is a lot of opportunity to grow organic apple consumption with lower retail pricing available this season.”

With organics being up this year, Stemilt’s Artisan Organics® EZ Band makes it easy to merchandise apples as organic and ensure ring at the register. Bringing in bagged options like a Lil Snappers® 3lb. bag or 5lb. Artisan Organics® pouch bag can also help draw attention to organics with self-merchandising, colorful branding and shoppers looking for a convenient apple option. The easier it is for consumer to choose organic, the more volume will start to align with dollars.

When it comes to the U.S. total for volume change from a year ago, the West is the only region that has it beat. The West is up 1.4% in apple volumes over last year. Other regions are well behind the U.S. average for apple volumes, which also negatively impacts the dollars the category is earning compared to last year.

“It’s the year to get creative with promotions and certainly avoid being shy with trialing new methods,” says Shales. “It’s the new year and consumers are looking for healthy eating options and opportunities to add fruit into recipes for the big game, and Valentine’s Day treats. Through frequent promotion, we can help close the gap between volume and dollars all while delighting consumers with World Famous Fruit.”

About Stemilt
Stemilt is a family-owned grower, packer, and shipper of tree fruit. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt’s mission is to cultivate people and delight consumers with its World Famous Fruits. Stemilt is a leader in sweet cherries and organic tree fruits, and a key supplier of apples and pears. The company stewards an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business through its Responsible Choice® program, which has been in place since 1989. For more information about Stemilt, visit

Brianna Shales
Marketing Director
Stemilt Growers