Sparta, Mich.  Research done by Riveridge Produce, Inc., last spring indicates that 65 percent of shoppers surveyed in Chicago and metro Detroit buy apples weekly with most of them shopping in multiple stores and channels.

With that many shoppers looking for apples in multiple locations, retailers may distinguish themselves by stocking regional apple varieties and new apple products.

The research suggests that shoppers are not only looking for best prices, but they’re looking for something new or a better selection, said Don Armock, CEO of Riveridge Produce, LLC. It is clear that shoppers in discount chains are also making purchases in higher-end grocery stores and alternative channels.

Our research of a few hundred shoppers shows that apples are on the shopping list for most people on a weekly basis, Armock said. While retailers want to keep their favorite apples on hand, Americans are always looking for whats new for dinner or snack time.

While Red and Golden Delicious and Gala are an important trio, shoppers are also looking for regional apple varieties that they are less familiar with such as Jonamac, Cortland, McIntosh, Empire and Braeburn. Demonstrating new recipes or suggesting uses for apples can fill consumers’ desire for apple creativity in the kitchen.

With our new bake-your-own-pie clamshells filled with apple varieties proven superior for baking and our multi-variety clamshells, we give retailers options to keep the category fresh for this majority of consumers who pick up apples weekly, Armock concluded.

Riveridge’s new clamshell apple products emphasize their family farm-grown origin. The same study found that 73 percent of respondents very often or somewhat often read about where their apples are grown. They like to have signs or QR codes available with the information. Riveridge’s clamshell labels feature QR codes and brief grower stories on its website.

Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., is a vertically integrated apple grower/packer/ shipper, selling apples in up to 26 states and a dozen foreign countries