9 Trending Fruit Flavors

fruits

Sales trends among the top 20 fruit segments suggest a mixed bag of performance and changes in consumer preferences. Among the top 20, half exhibited growth while the other half slipped, according to Nielsen’s Total Consumer Report, a study spotlighting the fruit category.

For example, while apples are the traditional preferred fruit of fall, the category as a whole has struggled across all retail outlets, contracting by 5% in dollar sales and 8% in units over the 52-week period ending July 7, 2018, according to the Nielsen report, which focused on commoditized offerings.

These trends often are echoed in consumer packaged goods sales, making them a harbinger for fruit-flavored snacks, candy and beverages down the road.

Over the 52 weeks covered by the Nielsen report, winners include limes, mandarins, blueberries, avocados, lemons, peaches, cherries and oranges. Losers were apples, grapes, bananas, strawberries, raspberries and mixed fruit.

Click through for a sampling of several insights around nine of the top fruits, both commoditized versions and value-added options.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Apples

apple

For convenience-store operators launching fresh-fruit sections, take note: Apples represent the top dollar share of the consolidated fruit category at 12.6%, but dollar sales plunged 6.7% for the 52-week period covered by the Nielsen report. A sea of apple types lent confusion rather than inspiration. In tracking 45 different apple types, seven generate more than $100 million in sales annually, with honeycrisp the highest seller. Over the past two years, apple varieties offered in stores increased 11%. “But with as many as seven different varieties of apples lining shelves on any given week, have stores overextended apples and created the paradox of choice where consumers are overwhelmed by options and thus choose none of them?” the Nielsen report asked.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Blueberry

welchs fruit n yogurt snacks blueberry

Fresh blueberries are popular with most consumers, with a dollar sales gain of 9.4% across all outlets, according to Nielsen. For c-stores, this could translate into opportunity for Welch’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Snacks, which are made with real fruit and surrounded by creamy yogurt to provide a melt-in-your-mouth taste, according to the company. A 4.25-ounce peg bag of Welch’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Snacks, available in three flavors including Blueberry, has an SRP of $1.99.

Photograph courtesy of Welch’s

Strawberry

juicy fruit collission strawberry watermelon

Juicy Fruit from Mars Wrigley Confectionery rolled out Collisions, in which two flavors collide in every stick. Among the flavor collisions: Strawberry Watermelon and Tropical Berry. Strawberries rank among the top five of most popular consumer fruits with an 8.8% dollar sales share, but strawberry fruit sales were general flat (0.4% loss) over the 52-week period.

Photograph courtesy of Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Cherry

clif fruit smoothie filled bars

Clif Bar recently added Fruit Smoothie Filled Energy Bars to its portfolio, including a Tart Cherry Berry flavor. Cherries are on the upswing, according to Nielsen, sporting a 2.7% share and registering a dollar sales gain of 1.6%.

Photograph courtesy of Clif Bar

Banana

barnana plantain chips

Bananas ranked third overall in Nielsen's top 20 fruit options with a 10.6% dollar share but lost 3.4% in volume for the 52-week period ending July 7, 2018. Barnana, which specializes in snacks made with organic bananas, added Plantain Chips to its portfolio. The ridged chips are fried in organic coconut oil and are paleo-friendly, grain-free, vegan and non-GMO. The banana-infused Plantain Chips come in Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, Acapulco Lime and Sea Salt & Vinegar flavors.

Photograph courtesy of Barnana

Lime

ooey gooey butter cakes

Limes own a 1.7% dollar share among fruits but registered the most robust gain in Nielsen’s survey at 14.8%. Lime has pervaded various product categories, including beverages and bakery goods. On the drink side, Icelandic Glacial debuted a new line of flavored sparkling waters that includes a Tahitian Lime flavor, while Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes from Prairie City Bakery are now available in a Key Lime flavor, which has tropical citrus notes and is made with Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice.

Photograph courtesy of Prairie City Bakery

Peach

mountain valley water white peach

The popularity of peaches (1.9% share, 3.1% gain) translates well to spring water. One recent rollout: Mountain Valley Spring Water in White Peach. Each 1-liter bottle has an SRP of $2.99.

Photograph courtesy of Mountain Valley

Lemon

miller coors redds lemonade

Lemon (2.3% share, 4.6% gain) is a go-to flavor preference across alcohol drinks such as shandies and flavored malts. As lemonade-flavored malt beverages in single-serve cans continue to display aggressive growth, MillerCoors rolled out Redd’s Wicked Lemonade, a sweet and tart adult beverage. Wicked Lemonade has an ABV of 8% and comes in 16- and 24-ounce cans.

Photograph courtesy of MillerCoors

Mandarins

mandarins

After the robust performance of the lime segment, mandarins (5.6% share, 10.8% gain) logged the second-best performance across the top 20 fruits, according to Nielsen. Cuties comprise two different kinds of mandarins: murcotts and clementines.

Photograph: Shutterstock