Significant price increases led to decreased cherries sales.
By Martha Scheler
Cherries made up 2.9% of fruit dollar sales, ahead of specialty fruit, pears and pineapples, for the 52 weeks ended January 25. Nearly 23% of U.S. households purchased cherries from the produce department during this period. These households purchased cherries on two trips per year, a decrease of 10% from the prior year. Cherries decreased dollar sales 6.3% compared to the previous year, under-performing compared to both fruit and produce growth.
Nationally, cherry sales peaked during the summer months (June through August). The week of Independence Day (the week ended July 6,) posted the largest sales with an average of $3,188 per store. During June, July and August, cherries posted average sales of $2,065 per store per week.
The East region topped sales performance among all regions, with an average of $841 per store per week. The West was the only region to increase sales, up 3.2% compared to the previous year. The lowest contributor to category sales nationally was the South region at 1.4%, while the Central region, the highest, was only 0.1% higher.
Both Bing and Rainier cherry varieties decreased sales compared to the previous year. Bing cherries sold an average of $592 per store per week, a decrease of 4.5% from the previous year, likely due to the 22.7% increase in average retail price. Rainier cherries, which made up a little more than 8% of the cherry category, saw even steeper declines, down 22.1% in dollars per store per week compared to the prior year. Both varieties were affected by increases in average retail prices. Bing cherries average retail price increased more than 20% to $3.46, while Rainier increased 26% to $5.38 per pound.
This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in retail measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. For more information, contact Nielsen Perishables Group: Haley Hastings, (773) 929-7013; email: Haley.Hastings@nielsen.com.