The very first nonbrowning Arctic® apple product we will be commercially launching is ready to eat Arctic® Golden slices in a 10oz bag. And, we can’t wait for consumers to enjoy our debut product! We know many consumers would prefer whole apples or some other product form, so why go with fresh, ready to eat slices? We sure didn’t just make this decision on a whim!
Fresh Apple Slices vs. Whole Fruit
Regular readers of our blog will know that one of the motivations that spurred our founders, apple growers Neal and Louisa Carter, to develop nonbrowning apples was the goal of creating a consumption trigger by replicating the success of baby carrots. In the 1990s, baby carrots spearheaded the doubling of carrot consumption through their simple convenience and suitability as a ready to eat snack. Baby carrots now make up 2/3rds of US carrot sales, yet currently just ~2% of US apples are sold as fresh slices.
While there are certainly more freshcut apple products sold today compared to a decade ago, fresh cut apple consumption has not accelerated the way many thought they would – or should! This is especially notable with boosting fruit consumption being more important than ever, with >2/3rds of U.S. adults currently considered overweight or obese.
Recently, Roland Fumasi of RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness explained that ~75% of Americans don’t get their recommended daily allowance of fruit, yet despite taste and affordability of whole apples being better than ever, consumption is flat. What he does point to, however, is the fact that apples are being surpassed by other options based on “the convenience factor”.
Wholesome & Ready to Eat
It’s clear that the continued rise of snacking, and demand for healthy snacks present golden opportunities for helping consumers eat more apples. Per The Packer, recent reports suggest that “36% of snacking happens on-the-go – 30% of which is in the car”. While whole apples may be fairly convenient on their own, grabbing a slice at a time while driving is clearly a lot more manageable than wielding a whole apple with only one hand on the wheel! Even outside of on-the-go snacking, in settings like school cafeterias, studies show substantially higher consumption when apples are served pre-sliced.
As is mentioned in that same article from The Packer, “the trend toward higher sales of fresh-produce snack food is all about convenience and health”, which helps demonstrate why we chose the product form that we did and emphasize these key attributes right on the bag’s front: “Wholesome” & “Ready to Eat”!
As for the other core(less) reasons we chose fresh Arctic® apple slices, which offer consumers an improved eating experience compared to freshcut apples already on the market, check out next week’s blog post!