What is in this article?:
New varieties, better imports, resilient growers, creative marketing and consumers eating healthier all foretell good sales ahead
Grapefruit Purchases Plummet
Even with crop diseases that have been lingering in Florida, grapefruits there have survived.
While all the retailers SN talked to said their produce sales have grown steadily, and didn’t even slack off during the recession, some said grapefruit is the one item that has slowed down in sales.
Tony Mirack said he thought McCaffrey’s dip in grapefruit sales was maybe due to warnings consumers have had that fresh grapefruit interacts badly with some heart medications. Others, too, said they had heard that grapefruit renders some medications ineffective.
Others theorized that there are just so many other choices these days. Sweet choices. Indeed, Perry at Food City said kids will almost always vote for a clementine or a tangerine over grapefruit.
Convenience, or lack thereof, could be a factor, too, one consultant said.
“Grapefruit continues to be associated with breakfast, and people eating on the run may prefer a hand fruit,” said Dick Spezzano, founder and president of Spezzano Consulting Service, Monrovia, Calif.
Read more: Category Trends: Fresh Foods on the Rise
In some parts of the country, however, grapefruit is a coveted treat. Texas grapefruit, for example.
“We already have customers asking when we’re getting Texas grapefruit in,” United’s Wilkins told SN.
“Grapefruit is our state fruit, and our Texas grapefruit is a huge image item for us. We’ll get them late this month, and have them through May.”
The largest size is most popular. The retail price: 99 cents a pound.
Texas grapefruit and Chilean navels will be the next big citrus promotion at United, Wilkins said.
Up in Oregon, Moothart at Newport Avenue Market, said he’d seen no lag in grapefruit sales.
“Grapefruit sales for us are strong. We’ve got a good display of them in boxes. All my staff, too, are instructed to cut some up and sample them.”
Moothart and Watson at Rouses stressed the importance of training in produce. Watson said it was especially important since there are so many new varieties coming onto the market with different qualities.
“Telling customers what’s unique about a product and how to use it helps build sales,” Watson said.