After a decade of real-world experience in field trials, Arctic® apples are quickly approaching deregulation in the U.S. and Canada. And, while we’ve previously covered some of our consumer research showing that the majority of apple eaters can’t wait to enjoy nonbrowning apples, we also asked a number of industry leaders for their thoughts. As you can see for yourself below, they can’t wait either!
From November 2006 to February 2007, we had a third party communications company conduct 40 in-depth interviews with leading members in the North American apple industry. Those interviewed included growers, packers, processors and more. All were introduced to Arctic® apples through a brief presentation and asked a number of questions. Here are some of the highlights:
- Over 75% of respondents had a positive initial response to Arctic® apples and expressed commercial interest
- Suitability to foodservice and freshcut markets were the most commonly identified benefits of the nonbrowning trait
- The most common concern was, not surprisingly, consumer perception due to a proliferation of misinformation on biotechnology
We also asked these industry leaders if they had any advice for us and the most common response was that we should focus on effective communication and transparency with the industry and consumers – a suggestion we have taken to heart!
To get an even better idea of what they thought, here are some direct quotes we received as feedback:
- “Any application with slices has tremendous potential. I like that a kid can eat half, set it on a counter, and still want to go back and eat the rest of it. I like that it does not affect other characteristics of any variety that is modified.”
- “I think that it is great that (OSF is) forward thinking about this product, and in bettering the apple industry. We can’t be complacent. We need to find ways to make things easier for our growers, and better for consumers…The success will be based on consumer education.”
- “Nonbrowning apples will be more appealing and raise consumer consumption.”
- “Convenient. Predictable quality.”
As you can see, the leading growers, packers and processors of the industry (who know a thing or two about apples) readily appreciate the “Arctic® advantage” – and they won’t have to wait much longer to enjoy the benefits for themselves!