During our mall intercept research, we presented consumers with a plate of Arctic® apples and a plate of conventional apples, both of which had been sliced just before they were presented. Then, we asked the consumers several questions about each plate of apples, and here’s what they said!
The plate of conventional apples was most often described (68% of respondents) as “browning/old/unappealing”. On the other hand, the majority (68%) said the plate of nonbrowning apples looked “fresh” or “appealing” with “better than the other plate” being the second most common descriptor. As you can see from the graph, zero respondents said the conventional plate looked better!
While it shouldn’t be shocking that consumers found nonbrowning apples to be more visually appealing than conventional apples, the difference was dramatic.
It’s easy to imagine how many sliced apples are wasted due to superficial browning. We found over two-thirds of consumers’ first impression of recently-sliced conventional fruit is that it’s brown, old or unappealing. Not exactly a marketable description!
Of course, commercially sold freshcut apples nearly always have anti-browning treatments to help maintain their appearance, yet Arctic® apples can reduce processing costs by ~40% and avoid common “off-tastes” since they don’t require these treatments. With nonbrowning apples, it’s entirely possible that freshcut apples could really take off, especially since apples are consumers most requested packaged produce item and studies show children eat ~70% more apples if they’re served pre-sliced.
While you can argue these findings support the idea Arctic® apples will reduce waste and boost freshcut consumption, it is an extrapolation. What cannot be argued, though, is that our research clearly demonstrates the nonbrowning trait is valuable to consumers.
Four times as many consumers said the plate of Arctic® apples looked better than the conventional apples than vice-versa, and around two-thirds specifically stated the nonbrowning feature makes them more likely to purchase Arctic® apples. Most of that group even said nonbrowning made them much more likely to buy!
As for why, when asked (open-ended) why the nonbrowning feature had an impact on their interest in purchasing, the most common responses were:
- Nonbrowning more appealing/looks nicer, fresher
- Don’t like/won’t eat brown/bruised apples
- Nonbrowning will last longer/less waste/save money
Be sure to follow our complete series of reports on consumers’ perceptions of Arctic® apples. Next, we’ll examine how Arctic® apples stacked up in terms of taste when compared with conventional apples – don’t miss it!