Industry pushes red fleshed apple to revive consumption woes – By David Walsh
Posted: January 6, 2012 1광주출장샵۲:۲۶ pm Updated: January 8, 2012 7:28 am
Apple Inc. is urging consumers to put off eating their “red pears” by buying red apples again, after a shortage caused retailers nationwide to run out.
“Red fruits are now just being sold more frequently and harder,” said Scott Kirtley, an analyst with Jefferies Inc. “The fact that we see the problem now suggests that something else is happening – it’s a short supply of apples.”
In January, the Federal Trade Commission charged three giant supermarkets, including Safeway Co., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Publix Super Markets Inc. for failing to deliver a minimum supply of fresh fruit to shoppers.
The company said this week that it plans to stop selling red fruit in its stores until the problem is sorted out.
In March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ordered four supermarkets to provide a minimum supply of apples and red pears to consumers from September through November.
The red fruit shortage is partly being blamed for a steep drop in fruit sales across the country.
In the first nine months of the recession, sales of fresh fruit dropped 20.8 percent, according to Nielsen Co.
In the first six months of the year, it fell 18.6 percent, or about 17.3 billion pounds.
Safeway, Costco and Publix declined to comment.
The red pears shortage is also affecting consumers’ appetite for coffee, a favorite food of Americans over the last decade, according to the National Coffee Association.
It is up 24.8 percent, or 14.4 million pounds of coffee, in the last five months of the year.
That includes a 16.3 percent drop in overall U.S. sales for coffee, said the association’s head of government and public affairs, Brian Weintraub.
Firms that sell coffee for coffee drinkers must have fresh-cut pears available on the shelves every day at the부천출장마사지 time of coffee ordering, Weintraub said.
“It’s like when you buy a Christmas present for a friend — you only get the present if you’ve got fresh pears available,” he said.
Some retailers are also struggling with a shortage of green apple.
Consumers are more sensitive to the taste and texture of green apples compared 진주출장안마to red.
“We’ve had ver