Supermarket tops competition in apple sales at the end of 2023
22nd January 2024
Aldi topped the first quarter of the new British apple season from October to December 2023, leaving Tesco behind, according to British Apples & Pears Limited (BAPL).
Having typically been in the top two of supermarkets for British apple sales in previous years, Tesco marked relatively low British apple volumes in October 2023 (1,826 tonnes). This meant that the supermarket struggled to catch its competitors in the first quarter.
Tesco did top the chart for British apple sales in November (3,104 tonnes) and December 2023 (3,582 tonnes), but that was not enough to beat Aldi’s consistently high performance over the first quarter of the new season.
BAPL growers sold 9,096 tonnes of British apples to Aldi in the first quarter of the 2023/24 season. That meant the discounter sold 20% of all UK apples bought from BAPL growers in that period, significantly outperforming its grocery market share of 9.3%.
Tesco only bought 18% (8,412 tonnes) of all British apples supplied by BAPL growers in the first quarter of the new season, underperforming against their grocery market share of 27.6%. Like its fellow discounter, Lidl also outperformed compared to its grocery market share, buying 17% (7,726 tonnes) of all British apples sold by BAPL growers compared to its 7.7% grocery market share.
Sainsbury’s also performed well, buying 17% (7,863 tonnes) of all British apples sold by BAPL growers compared to its 15.8% grocery market share. Asda bought just 5% (2,210 tonnes) of all British apples sold by BAPL growers, compared to its market share of 13.6%.
Predictions for 2024
BAPL’s executive chair, Ali Capper, said: “The start of the new British apple season is a crucial time for our growers. We know shoppers are very keen to get their hands on the delicious new season fruit, and we’ve had some great support from many of the supermarkets this year.
“Despite a good performance in November and December, Tesco’s slow start to the season meant they were unable to catch their competitors in our British apple sales league table for the first quarter of the new season. However, once again, Aldi and Lidl significantly outperformed against their grocery market share and really got behind British top fruit. Sainsbury’s too managed to outperform its market share, which was great news. We hope that all the supermarkets will get behind British for the remainder of the year.”
Ms Capper predicts that the 2023/24 British apple season will be average in terms of volume, and a bit below the “bumper year” we had in 2022/23.
She added: “We also know that individual fruit size this year is on average slightly larger. That’s why we’re delighted that Aldi and Sainsbury’s have both agreed to introduce a four-pack of British apples. This will help the picked British apple crop last a bit longer into the rest of the year, giving shoppers the access to home-grown apples for as long as possible. It’s an approach that we hope other UK supermarkets will soon follow.”
Click here to see BAPL’s monthly sales data.
Read more fruit articles here.