Latest BAPL retail data shows discounters outperform other supermarkets in backing British top fruit this season

Ali Capper

BAPL executive chair Ali Capper

UK discounters Aldi and Lidl have once again outperformed the ‘traditional big four’ supermarkets in getting behind British apples this season.

Grower association British Apples & Pears Limited (BAPL) retail figures for the first quarter of the 2023/4 deal reveal that Aldi topped the sales charts with Lidl following close behind.

Aldi sold 20 per cent (9,096 tonnes) of all UK apples bought from BAPL growers in that period, significantly outperforming its 9.3 per cent market share.

Lidl, meanwhile, sold 17 per cent (7,726 tonnes) of all BAPL apples, exceeding its 7.7 per cent grocery market share.

Sainsbury’s also performed well, buying 17 per cent (7,863 tonnes) of all BAPL apples compared to its 15.8 per cent grocery market share.

Yet former chart topper and number one UK supermarket, Tesco, struggled to keep up with its competitors in the first quarter, BAPL said. It bought 18 per cent (8,412 tonnes) of all BAPL apples, underperforming against its grocery market share of 27.6 per cent.

Asda was the other disappointment, according to bAPL, buying just 5 per cent (2,210 tonnes) of BAPL apples compared to its market share of 13.6 per cent.

Commenting on the latest supermarket sales data, BAPL executive chair Ali Capper said: “The start of the new British apple season is a crucial time for our growers. We know shoppers are very keen to get their hands on the delicious new season fruit and we’ve had some great support from many of the supermarkets this year.

“Despite a good performance in November and December, Tesco’s slow start to the season meant they were unable to catch their competitors in our British apple sales league table for the first quarter of the new season. However, once again Aldi and Lidl significantly outperformed against their grocery market share and really got behind British top fruit. Sainsbury’s too managed to outperform its market share, which was great news. We hope that all the supermarkets will get behind British for the remainder of the year.”

Capper added that, in terms of volume, growers expect the 2023/24 British apple crop will be average and a bit below the bumper yields of 2022/23.

”We also know that individual fruit size this year is on average slightly larger,” she said. ”That’s why we’re delighted that Aldi and Sainsbury’s have both agreed to introduce a four-pack of British apples. This will help the picked British apple crop last that bit longer into the rest of the year, giving shoppers the access to home-grown apples for as long as possible. It’s an approach that we hope other UK supermarkets will soon follow.”

BAPL publishes monthly sales data on its website: