Even as holiday shoppers flock to get the latest “Apple” product, there’s a similar rising demand for another group of newly developed products – actual apples! While it’s certainly a more subtle trend than annually replacing outdated smartphones, consumers are increasingly drawn to modern apple varieties.
Consider the most popular apple variety of all time in the U.S., Red Delicious. From 1980-2000, Red Delicious made up over 40% of the annual apple harvest, yet by 2000 that number has dipped to less than 25%!
Reviewing the last decade of US apple production by variety provides clear evidence of shifting preferences, and perhaps no variety better exemplifies this than Honeycrisp. The first year of significant Honeycrisp production was 2007 (despite actually being first released back in 1991), yet it’s already a top-10 variety. And, despite being among the most difficult cultivars to grow, it is one of the most-planted varieties in recent years.
But, Honeycrisp is far from the only example. Just last month a leading U.S. apple marketer explained that “consumers increasingly favor up-and-coming varieties over the legacy apples.” They cite the huge increase in demand for Ambrosia apples (a fantastic apple developed in our neck of the woods in British Columbia) as an example, suggesting they’ll double or triple in production over the next decade – a remarkable prediction! The rapid adoption of new varieties is all the more notable as, unlike many other crops, newly planted apple trees take years to produce significant quantities of fruit.
So what’s the main reason behind this trend? Consumer demand of course! Honeycrisp, for instance, is a very crisp, sweet apple, making it appealing for snacking, salads and much more.
And, when we look at what consumers are increasingly demanding, there’s one thing that stands out to us – convenience! Apples are the most requested packaged produce item, and studies show that children eat ~70% more apples when they’re served pre-sliced. They also want less additives on their foods. I know – we’ve told you all of this before, but we cannot help but get excited about these facts!!
Arctic® apples squarely address all of these demands, while also offering improved visual appeal, texture and crunch – as verified by apple lover themselves! We are confident that they’ll soon be joining numerous other innovative, modern varieties in capturing consumers’ hearts and stomachs.