Apples are a year round fruit and consumer willingness to buy, eat and serve more apples is a vast opportunity for retailers.
Santa Monica, CA (Vocus) April 1, 2010
For more than three-out-of-four Americans, apples and apple beverages fill the dual purpose of being a “better-for-you” food, and a fruit that integrates easily into hectic lifestyles, according to a groundbreaking report released today titled Apples: The Next Superfruit. The report is based on a poll conducted by SupermarketGuru.com, a leading online resource featuring consumer information about marketing issues and consumer trends.
Phil Lempert, a food, consumer and marketing trends analyst and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com, created the survey about apples on behalf of the U.S. Apple Association.
“Apples are a year round fruit and consumer willingness to buy, eat and serve more apples is a vast opportunity for retailers,” says Lempert. “Merchants already display apples prominently as a stage-setter, but now they need to think further about how to tap into this mindset that apples are a ‘superfruit’ and great for a person’s health and overall wellness.”
Between December 2009 and February 2010, SupermarketGuru.com conducted a national consumer panel on its website. In all, 1,021 chief household shoppers detailed their beliefs about apples and apple products with regard to nutrition, health, eating habits, merchandising influences and more.
The SupermarketGuru.com consumer panel is an opt-in food-involved population of more than 94,000 shoppers that pre-registered with the site and submitted their confidential demographic information. Respondents to this survey were 84% female.
When asked to rate ten individual fruits separately on a scale of one- to-10 (1 is most healthful, 10 is least healthful), survey respondents showed their strongest conviction for three particular fruits: blueberries, apples and pomegranates. 64 percent rated apples a one, two or three on the scale of one-to-10.
This high perception of healthfulness reflects consumer awareness of apples’ many nutritional attributes. Females (87%), largely Boomers (72% age 50 and older) led the survey respondents who rated apples a one on the health scale. A majority (51%) spends $81 or more per week on groceries for a two person household. However, the income group that rated apples as most healthful (1) is defined in this survey as lower income - 28 percent of respondents who earn $25,001 to $55,000 annually per household.
“This is interesting because blueberries and pomegranates are higher priced food options,” said Lempert. “We suspect one reason why the lowest-income tier of $25,000 and under wasn’t among the percentage leaders in this survey is the continued under-serving of their neighborhoods by supermarkets—which means they have less access to fresh produce. This also fits in with the paradigm that lower income households tend to be more obese.”
Nine-out-of-10 consumers said a resounding ‘Yes’ when asked this question:
“If you or someone you know is trying to eat healthier in 2010, have you considered apples and apple products as a regular part a healthier diet?”
In addition, nine-out-of-10 respondents believe:
- Apples and apple beverages, especially those with the peel left intact, are rich in plant compounds called polyphenols and antioxidants, both known to promote health. (92%)
- Apples and apple products may help to boost weight loss efforts. (89%)
- Daily consumption of apples and apple products can help reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. (85%)
Once the survey disclosed that scientific evidence supports the health statements about apples, overwhelming majorities of adults who took this survey said they will buy and serve apples to their families and house guests more often.
Lempert emphasizes, “The magnitude of their response reflects their desire to eat healthfully—and the ability of apples to help them do that because of their nutritional makeup, portability, affordability and accessibility.”
Lempert says this is a message to retailers. “There is a terrific merchandising opportunity here. They can put apples and apple products throughout the stores. 78 percent of consumers perceive the bountiful display bins as the number one way retailers promote the healthfulness of apples and apple products. Results also showed consumers were hard-pressed to name other tactics used to promote a healthfulness message.”
When asked about the survey results, Nancy Foster, President and CEO of the U.S. Apple Association states “This groundbreaking report helps the American apple industry connect with their customers by better understanding what they're thinking and how to communicate with them about enjoying this delicious ‘superfruit’ in all of its forms—fresh or processed."
Founded in 1994 by Philip Lempert, http://www.SupermarketGuru.com is a leading online resource providing consumers with food safety, products, trends and shopping tips. With more than 2.5 million visitors annually, consumers have access to breaking food industry news, health and nutrition tips and information. In addition, visitors are invited to join the supermarketguru.com Consumer Panel where they have the opportunity to offer their own candid comments. For more information, please visit http://www.supermarketguru.com.
About the U.S. Apple Association
The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional apple associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business. USApple's mission is to provide the means for all segments of the U.S. apple industry to join in appropriate collective efforts to profitably produce and market apples and apple products. For more information, please visit http://www.usapple.org.