On August 10, Mathew D’Arrigo vice president of D’Arrigo Brothers Co. of NY Inc., located at Hunts Point Terminal Market in Bronx, NY, said that he is hearing that the apple crop this year is in good condition.
“Predictions are that the fruit will be normal to large size and high quality,” said Mr. D’Arrigo. “The California crop is sold out, so we’ll be hitting the ground running when the new crop comes in.”
He added that the Honey Crisp apple variety is in strong demand.
“There are a few more grown now, but the demand still outweighs the supply,” he added. “It’s a very flavorful apple, and the more people try it, the more they want it.”
Mr. D’Arrigo said that the demand for apples is highly predictable. A lack of demand late spring through mid-summer means that it’s simply not apple season.
“Cherries, berries and soft fruit are in season, and in higher demand. It’s fortunate that there are not a lot of apples around throughout this period.”
As September encroaches, however, the weather breaks a little and the days get a little shorter and cooler. The demand for apples jumps quickly and strongly.
“This is the time for all apple producers to aggressively promote their apples,” said Mr. D’Arrigo. “The start of school and the onset of the apple movement occur at the same time, and the two events have become synonymous over the decades. Even retailers connect them, and they work their timing out so they are well stocked for the onset of demand.”
Mr. D’Arrigo said that he likes to get out of the gate early, fast and hard to get apple promotions going.
“It’s not as easy to turn on the promotional machine a couple of months down the road,” he noted. “It’s important to get an early start and keep the interest stirred going forward.”
Selling apples is a 12-month-a-year job, but larger volumes move at different times of the year. In late August, retailers listen to what’s going on with crops and for related information about the apple market.
“Retailers are deciding what they’re going to do for their upcoming apple promotions,” said Mr. D’Arrigo. “Distributors like ourselves are responsible for knowing what the upcoming crop will bring so we can help guide our customers.” Distributors’ “decisions for the coming season” are based on “precise track records of their apple sales from past years,” he said.
September deals are made months before the first apples are picked from trees, which Mr. D’Arrigo said is necessary to insure a smooth movement.
D’Arrigo Brothers is a major distributor of a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables, including western vegetables and melons; imported and domestic fruits; and eastern and Florida vegetables, which include tomatoes and onions. It is the exclusive wholesale distributor of “Andy Boy” produce. The company also handles a full line of domestic and imported apples
“The locally grown trend is something that Hunts Point Market has been strongly involved in for many years,” said Mr. D’Arrigo. “The current trend is basically catching up to what our company has emphasized for years. We always have been, and always will be, huge supporters of locally grown produce.”