A little education goes a long way with Arctic® apples

Earlier this month, we shared some results from a consumer research survey we did in October 2011. There, we outlined the positive response we received when we asked whether or not nonbrowning apples were a good idea, and now we’d like to share the likelihood of these consumers to buy nonbrowning Arctic® apples.

First, we asked the pool of 1,000 survey respondents (all self identified apple eaters like yourself!) how likely they would be to buy Arctic® apples, the nonbrowning apple developed through biotechnology. We were pleased to learn that the number of consumers interested in buying Arctic® apples was much larger than those who didn’t. Once these same respondents learned just a little bit about how we produce Arctic® apples, we asked them the same question again and found that their interest in buying increased significantly! Likelihood to Buy AAs

Additionally, not only did overall consumer likelihood to buy increase, but many consumers who were originally doubtful on purchasing Arctic® apples decided it would be a good idea after all! Learning about how we use biotechnology to make Arctic® apples convinced many apple eaters that we have indeed made the ideal fruit even better.

Food enhanced through biotechnology exists around us much more than most people realize (cereals and breads many of us eat every day, for example), and while some who aren’t familiar with the science involved may be initially skeptical, our research shows that simply learning about how simple and safe our science is makes a huge difference. The majority of consumers are interested in seeing more of the positive benefits biotechnology can provide to the food industry. This is supported by a 2010 survey from the International Food Information Council which reports that without aiding, only two percent of surveyed consumers identified biotechnology as a concern.

We encourage every consumer to learn as much as they can about biotechnology and Arctic® apples, and trust that the majority will find what they learn to be as interesting and positive as we do!


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About Joel Brooks

Growing up in the Okanagan, Joel had the opportunity to experience apple growing first hand, a background that lead him to his role as Brand Manager. Joel feels privileged to work with such great people towards a goal that’s so easy to get behind – helping people to eat more apples.

Comments

  1. Derrick To

    Hello,

    I was surprised to read this paragraph on your site:

    Third-party research suggests that consumers are in favor of genetically modified foods when the modification benefits the consumer. Our own consumer research also shows that not only are consumers interested in a nonbrowning apple, once they learn more about the science behind Arctic apples their interest in purchasing them increases further!

    From what I’ve been hearing, the apple growers association is against the non browning apple. They feel that GM apples will have a negative affect on the “pure” image that apples currently have. When I told my 6 year old son what a GM food was and that a new apple was coming out that would not brown, he said “I’m never going to eat another apple!”

    What method is used in genetically modifying this apple? Is the gene gun used? What marker is used? I’m very curious to know more myself.

    Thanks very much

    Derrick

    Derrickk.to@gmail.com


    • Joel

      Hi Derrick, thanks for your comment! You are correct that some industry organizations are hesitant to embrace biotech apples due to concern over consumer reaction, even though nearly all growers have no issues with our apples themselves or biotechnology in general. As you can see, our consumer research has shown that the vast majority of consumers have no problem with the genetic engineering aspect, especially once they learn more. Key points such as the fact that Arctic fruit contains no new proteins, has the same nutrition, grows in the orchard just the same way, etc. all go a long way to easing concerns.

      The biggest challenge is that genetic engineering in general is a complex subject and consumer awareness of how/why these changes are made is quite low. It’s a relatively new technology, and you’ll likely recall many people had concerns about things like microwaves and cell phones as well, which died away with education and experience.

      As far as the transformation process goes, we have actually just developed a new infographic that provides some of the key information (http://www.arcticapples.com/sites/default/files/making_the_perfect_fruit_even_better.pdf) and have also blogged about the marker gene and other tools we use to introduce the nonbrowning trait (http://www.arcticapples.com/blog/joel/how-we-introduce-nonbrowning-trait-arctic%C2%AE-apples#.Uqtn4dJDt8E). We have no secrets and try to share information on the science behind our apples as openly and transparently as possible, so please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions!

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