Can’t beat ready-to-eat!

Stop me if this sounds familiar: You’ve just finished a long day of work and have nothing planned for dinner – all you know is you’re hungry, you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking and you definitely don’t feel like shopping!

All too often this story tragically ends in later-regretted fast food for you and your family and unkept promises that you’ll all eat healthier tomorrow. To be fair, fast food chains are responding to increasingly health-conscious consumers by adding low-calorie menu items and promoting salads or even fruit sides. Even so, estimates the average U.S. consumer eats fast food 159 times a year! Assuming their typical meal is a burger, fries and cola that makes 7,000 grams of fat a year – enough to fill eleven 20 oz soda bottles.

Chicken apple salad

It’s clear that consumer demand for convenience isn’t going anywhere but up, so food stores have rushed to cut into the fast food market by offering healthier, ready-to-eat meal options. Prepared foods are one of the fastest growing market segments; they’re a hot topic at produce tradeshows and on shortlists for key industry trends. Most importantly, consumers are buying more of them every year.

A recent consumer report, “The Why? Behind the Buy”, found that shoppers are “increasingly eating out by actually eating in” as around two-thirds of U.S. grocery shoppers have brought home prepared foods in the past month. Healthier options in particular are gaining popularity, with prepared salads being a great example.

There’s evidence that salads are increasingly becoming the main dish rather than just a side, and a 2014 report from Nielsen showed that dollar sales of prepared salads jumped a whopping 26% in 2013. The same study also explained that consumers are increasingly replacing meals with better-for-you snacks like freshcut fruits, which had a ~20% increase in offerings.

So what’s our point? Well, if the photo of a delicious chicken-and-apple salad dish didn’t give you a clue, it’s that nonbrowning Arctic® apples are perfectly suited for ready-to-eat meals, sides and snacks and the demand for these products is skyrocketing! Embarrassingly few apples are sold into foodservice, but consumers are insisting on healthier, convenient options and we see no reason to deny them!

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 Product & Special Projects 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.


  1. Slicer

    Don’t be discouraged; this is actually a good piece of marketing. However, there’s a unique approach you can use for these apples if you want to catch the people on the left side of the bell curve.

    Remember, you’re selling an apple that has less polyphenol oxidase, a scary-sounding chemical. Don’t say it has less polyphenol oxidase compared to normal apples, say that it has less in comparison to other mass-produced apples that are grown in huge farms by agricultural conglomerates.

    Voila! From big scary Monsanto biotech company (because, as everyone knows, every biotech company is really Monsanto) to an independent, assumed-organic, apple farmer in just one paragraph.

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