Sales climb by 89 per cent year-on-year with the apple now the seventh best-selling variety nationally

Cosmic Crisp apple sales have boomed in the past year, according to Nielsen data released by Proprietary Variety Management (PVM).

Cosmic Crisp

Sales volumes for the September 2022-August 2023 period soared by 89 per cent year-on-year, moving Cosmic Crisp up to the number seven best-selling apple variety in the US.

Nielsen data reveled that Cosmic Crisp was one of only two apple varieties in the top ten generating volume growth. Overall, total apple category volume declined by 5.2 per cent in the US, while total dollars were flat at +0.3 per cent.

According to Kathryn Grandy, chief marketing officer for PVM who leads consumer brand marketing of the apple, the sales data reflected strong repeat purchases of Cosmic Crisp.

“The Nielsen data backs up the anecdotal reports we’ve been getting from our retail partners across the US,” said Grandy. “The sales numbers tell a clear story. Consumers have not only discovered Cosmic Crisp apples – they consistently come back to buy more.”

Varietal choice

Grandy said the challenge for retailers came in managing a complex apple category that was loaded with new varietal choices.

“Our category offers consumers so many great apple varieties,” she confirmed. ”The challenge for retailers is most newer varieties lack scale (volume) and sufficient consumer awareness to generate trial and repeat purchases.

”Cosmic Crisp production is now sufficiently large and retailers can count on having supply in all seasons,” Grandy outlined. ”This allows for everyday displays and promotions, which drives sales for everyone.

”Additionally, our consumer marketing efforts have proven to demonstrate healthy brand awareness, which is critical to our success.”

According to the Nielsen data, Cosmic Crisp led category dollar increases among the top ten best-selling apple varieties in the US.

For the period, only Cosmic Crisp (+94.9 per cent), Envy (+15.9 per cent), Granny Smith (+7.2 per cent) and McIntosh (+1.8 per cent) delivered increases in category dollar performance.

Brand awareness

A recent national brand awareness study also performed by Nielsen’s category partners found that about one quarter of consumers (24 per cent) had heard of Cosmic Crisp apples. In the west, over one third of surveyed consumers knew of the brand.

Among those who had tried Cosmic Crisp, nine out ten rated the flavour better than other apples and four out of five rated the appearance, texture and juiciness of Cosmic Crisp as better than other apples.

In terms of regional performance, Grandy saw one of the strongest areas for Cosmic Crisp growth in the northeast.

“Cosmic Crisp is now the number seven best-selling apple in the west, midwest and south, but only number 11 in the northeast,” she said. ”However, Cosmic Crisp volume gains in the northeast (up 98 per cent) were higher than any other region. 

”This is simply a function of lower retail distribution in the northeast. With more northeast retailers stocking Cosmic Crisp, distribution is expanding and we’re seeing great success for our retail partners and their consumers.”

Grandy added that organically grown Cosmic Crisp brand apples had also been selling very well as new orchards have reached organic certification. “

Cosmic Crisp is now the sixth-best selling organic apple in the United States with volume up at retail by 388 per cent,” she explained.

“Cosmic Crisp was the only variety among these top six organic varieties that generated an increase in volume. This is great news for our retail partners that are looking to source the hottest-selling organic apple.”