Ambrosia sales dominate in the South, strong nationally
CMI Orchards announced that Ambrosia apples are dominating sales in the Southern Region, with strong sales reported throughout the rest of the United States.
According to Nielsen Answers on Demand, over the past 52 weeks of data through Jan. 2, Ambrosia held the top sales position in the Southern region, accounting for 24.7 percent of all branded apple sales. This represents a growth of 4.3 percent for the apple. The Southern region includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia and Kentucky.
Ambrosia held the second-highest position in the Midwest region, third in the Northwest, and fifth in the Western region. CMI Orchards grows six of the best-selling branded apples in each region and is the largest grower of Ambrosia apples in the U.S., branding the popular apple as “Ambrosia Gold: The Gold Standard of Ambrosia Apples.”
“These sales numbers provide a feel for which varieties are preferred in different regions. Sales and apple usage are often tied to a region’s culture, food preferences, health characteristics, and cooking styles,” said CMI Orchards Marketing Specialist Danelle Huber.
CMI Orchards held the exclusive growing rights for Ambrosia apples for over a decade, and once the varietal opened up in 2017, CMI established Ambrosia Gold as a recognizable mark of quality differentiation. One of CMI’s owners, the McDougall Family, has spent years perfecting the growing, storage, and packing of this amazing, delicious apple.
“Growing Ambrosia apples is a very defined art and very strict guidelines must be followed for harvesting Ambrosia at the exact optimal time to ensure that the apples have the amazing flavor and texture consumers have come to know and love. Since CMI has so few growers growing Ambrosia Gold, we are able to closely monitor quality and enforce the strict guidelines and protocols. Now that Ambrosia planting has opened up to all growers, we are starting to see other Ambrosia apples enter the marketplace with variability in quality and taste. Consumers are beginning to see a notable difference in the quality and consistency of fruit available on retail shelves and now actually ask for Ambrosia Gold specifically by name,” said CMI Orchards President Bob Mast.
Ambrosia cracked the top 10 apple varieties in 2015, then exclusive to CMI Orchards, and quickly became the branded apple to beat. Being one of the first proprietary varieties to market, consumers were excited to try something new and strong sales numbers quickly showed the apple’s popularity.
“In the CMI Orchards’ apple product line, Ambrosia Gold is consistently one of the top varieties asked for by consumers. It’s become a mainstay apple on retailer shelves, and because CMI’s owner group, the McDougall family, earned the exclusive rights to grow and market Ambrosia apples in the U.S. and introduced it to the market, customers know they have perfected the Ambrosia apple,” said CMI Vice President of Marketing George Harter.