When most people think of apples, they think of, well, an apple! However, over a third of apples grown in North America are processed into something other than a fresh apple. Chief among processed apple products is, not surprisingly, apple juice, which accounts over 40% of all processed apples.
Processed apple products are becoming increasingly popular, with projected increases for juice and cider up 4%, canned up 11%, frozen up 29% and dried up 21%. Unfortunately, fresh sliced projections decreased, a topic explored in our last entry. The point is, there is a strong demand for processed apple products and with strong demand comes opportunity.
Clearly, most processed products involve breaking down apples into smaller pieces by cutting, mashing or juicing them, exposing the apple’s flesh to oxygen and leaving it vulnerable to enzymatic browning. An apple that resists the oxidation process and maintains its true color and flavor is valuable to processors, especially since they can avoid the costs and consumer concerns associated with the anti-browning treatments currently required to get their products to market.
Consumers are picky about their favorite varieties, whether it’s cars, clothing or apples. One industry expert recently commented that there is “a trend in the consumer’s appetite for apples that seems to parallel the wine industry.” Arctic® apples take advantage of this trend, as variety-specific juices and sauces can finally be distinguishable, meaning processors will soon be able to offer consumers their favorite type of apple in many forms.
The average supermarket now carries around 40,000 different items, so it takes something new and different to really separate from the pack. Arctic® apples can offer processors the ability to provide healthy, exciting new apple products that will really excite shoppers – and get more people eating more apples!