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Domex Superfresh Talks Promotional Opps For Fall Apple Crop

Washington apples, Domex Superfresh Growers

Summer has just begun and there is still more planning and preparation needed to ready the new crop of Washington apples for the fall harvest. Trees around the state are covered with an abundance of apples. The official estimate will not be announced until Aug. 11; growers and industry experts, relying on Mother Nature’s cooperation, are seeing the potential for a bountiful crop.

Domex Superfresh Growers, one of the largest growers of apples in Washington State, recommends that retailers focus on four critical areas when planning for this crop:

• The crop is early, about five days earlier than last year. There will be promotable quantities of new crop Galas by mid-August;

• Sizing will be similar to last year’s crop, which will provide opportunities for promotional activity on big fruit;

• Due to the warm spring supporting healthy cell division, Domex Superfresh is looking at a vintage crop reflecting high marks for shape, size and eating quality; and

• Regional growing areas in the eastern U.S. are running later than normal due to the cool spring.

August and September are shaping up to be an ideal time to promote Washington apples, according to Domex Superfresh. Last year’s crop reflected a significant dollar contribution at retail. Nielsen data reveals dollar sales for the 52-week period ended Aug. 24, 2013, saw a 16.6 percent increase over the previous year. The top five varieties of Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith represented 76 percent of dollar sales with the average retail price up 11.3 percent.

Apples also play an important role in the fruit category, contributing big dollar sales, Domex Superfresh says. In 2013’s third quarter, apples represented 10.5 percent of fruit dollars in the produce department and jumped to 19.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

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