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U.S. Jazz apples approach domestic season peak

Jazz is one of the top branded apples, growing steadily in the United States to become the 10th-best-selling variety overall in U.S. supermarkets. A key part of this retail performance is driven by surging Jazz sales in the months of April and May.

According to Steve Lutz, senior strategist for CMI Orchards, April and May are two of the strongest sales months of the entire season for U.S. grown Jazz apples. “The scan data documents that the eight-week period from early April to late May are among the strongest of the entire domestic season,” he said in a press release. "With supplies of many branded apples dwindling, this is the time when savvy merchandisers energize their apple category with Jazz.”jaz

Lutz said this success during the months of April and May is likely a result of the quality characteristics of Jazz as well as fewer competitive apples on supermarket shelves during this period.

“Jazz is a crisp, flavorful apple that stands up well in storage as well as on retail shelves once the weather warms in the spring. Repeat purchases are driven by a quality eating experience and we know Jazz consistently delivers for consumers,” he said.

Nielsen scan data from the last two years show that retail distribution of Jazz began to decline at the exact time sales jumped, according to Lutz. “In spring months, retailers begin to consolidate their apple offering. Unfortunately, some retailers unknowingly back off on Jazz at a time when sales actually accelerate. Over the past two seasons, U.S. Jazz peaked in late April and May, both in terms of total sales as well as ACV sales per point of distribution.

“In short, stores that got behind Jazz in April and May scored big, while those that backed off or discontinued Jazz probably had no idea they missed a significant sales opportunity," he said.

Robb Myers, director of domestic sales for CMI, said Jazz supplies for spring promotions are very strong. “At CMI, our Jazz inventories are in great shape for spring promotions. Retailers can plan on hitting records for the period.”

Lutz said there is still a lot of room to grow Jazz sales this spring based on scan data results from previous seasons. He said in past years approximately 10,000 stores carried Jazz apples during the spring months, meaning that at least half of supermarkets have yet to discover this opportunity.

“If the scan data teaches us anything about successful retailing of branded apples, it’s the importance of hitting these top seasonal opportunity windows,” said Lutz. “Right now is the prime time to jump on Jazz.”

Jazz apples in the U.S. are grown and marketed by CMI Orchards, Rainier Fruit Co. and The Oppenheimer Group. Jazz is a registered trademark of Enzafruit New Zealand International Ltd.

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