Envy apples are living up to their name, by posting dollar sales and volume growth other varieties can only wish for.
Freshlook Data indicates that in the first half of 2015, Envy delivered 20 percent higher dollar sales than in the same period last year, while also increasing in volume sold by 36 percent. Meanwhile, the apple category as a whole has dropped 13 percent in dollar sales and 8 percent in per-pound volume. The Envy phenomenon is driven not only by the apple’s sweet, crisp character, but also retailer support balanced with remarkable consumer demand, said David Nelley, executive director of The Oppenheimer Group’s apple, pear and cherry categories. “Envy is proving its value to the produce department’s bottom line,” he said. “It’s in the top 15 for total dollars sold in the U.S. when compared with all apple varieties, which is pretty astonishing considering that volumes remain limited and the apple has been around for just three years. U.S. retailers who visited New Zealand to see the harvest told growers that in some cases Envy is their highest performing variety. They’re glad to introduce it to their customers as a category driver.” While Envy is making a statement in the apple category throughout the U.S., the Southeast, Midwest and California are showing the best results. Nelley notes that Envy’s powerful social media engagement, including nearly 17,000 likes on Facebook, has been another useful barometer of the apple’s success. “Envy is capturing people’s imaginations. Once they have tried it, they can’t wait to enjoy it again and share it with friends and family. Because Envy is not available year round, the pent up demand at the start of the season is overwhelming,” he said, pointing to consumer interaction on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To that end, the Envy website, www.envyapples.com, features a locator tool that encourages consumers to interact with one another to find the apples in their communities. Envy is available from New Zealand late June through September and Washington late October through March, with export markets in Asia taking about half of the Washington-grown volume. Another Enza variety, the JAZZ apple, also performed admirably in the first six months of 2015. JAZZ continues to enjoy a well-established position as a “top 10” apple, sitting at No. 9 for both dollar and volume sales for all apples during the period. Looking at premium apples only, JAZZ ranks No. 3 in both. “JAZZ is unmatched for year round consistent pressure and flavor due to the controlled year-round production managed by Enza in the U.S., New Zealand and Chile,” Nelley said. “Its tangy sweet flavor, unparalleled crunch in the summer, and endurance on the shelf give it advantages over other varieties. While Envy is turning heads right now, JAZZ continues to be an apple retailers stock confidently as a year-round staple.”