Apple industry embracing innovation to boost consumption

For the North American apple industry, there’s no bigger month in the year than October. Most growers get to enjoy the conclusion off harvest (and the 14 hour workdays that go along with it!) and consumers get to enjoy the freshest apples of the year. While “National Apple Month” is now behind us, there’s a great sense of optimism and energy in the industry, and plenty of good reason for it. After decades of flat-to-declining apple consumption in the U.S., there’s been a small boost in apple consumption over the past couple years, which is especially important as the number
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Arctic® apples: Makes slicing more enticing

It’s easy to see why Arctic® apples’ nonbrowning trait makes them extremely well-suited for products like sliced, diced, and quartered apples, but is the freshcut market really a big deal? How big is the freshcut market anyway and what’s its projection? A summary of a recent report from the Produce Marketing Association, explains that “the U.S. freshcut fruit and vegetable market is one of the fastest growing (market) segments” and “is an estimated $27 billion market.” It emphasized that strong growth is expected to continue for freshcut products as consumer demand for convenience and “healthier grab-and-go” snack options continue to
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Dr. Savage: Arctic® apples pose no cross contamination risk

Dr. Steve Savage knows a thing or two about plant technology. He obtained his B.S. in Biology from Stanford University and his PhD in Plant Pathology from UC Davis and in the 35 years since, has been deeply involved in agriculture with an emphasis on crop innovation. Dr. Savage is also a skilled communicator, with an active Twitter account (@grapedoc), over 250 blog posts since 2009 and a new website, www.drstevesavage.com, devoted to communicating about agriculture. So, there are few individuals more appropriate to tackle one of the most common myths we hear: that Arctic® apples will “contaminate” organic apple
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Winter is trade show season for ag industry

As we approach late fall, Thanksgiving reminds us that the harvest is complete, so that means a year of hard work from farmers has paid off and there’s nothing to do until spring to start again, right? Not exactly! For hard-working members of the agriculture industry, even as winter arrives, there’s still plenty to do. We’ve previously mentioned the tough work required in preparation for the growing season, such as winter pruning at the Carter orchard, but in addition to the never-ending work on the farm, winter also signals our industry’s trade show season. While most industries enjoy travelling around
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Apple industry leaders can’t wait for Arctic® apples

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
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U.S. apple industry: Producing more with less

We’ve talked before about how apple consumption has been flat to declining in recent years, but did you know that overall apple bearing acreage of apples has been falling as well? Bearing acreage refers to the amount of land used to produce apples, and as you can see from the graph below, there has been a significant decline over the past decade. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 2000 and 2010, bearing acreage decreased by nearly 100,000 acres to a total of ~346,000 acres – more than a 20% drop! This is particularly notable when considering
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World Apple Report: GMOs and Real Risk

The World Apple Report, a highly respected monthly publication, offered a very insightful article on the “real risk” of biotech foods in their July 2013 issue. “GMOs and Real Risk” examines the overreaction to perceived safety concerns about biotech foods and urges a return to common sense. It includes a comparison of biotech crops to other perceived risks and quantifies the likelihood of exposure to safety concerns and potential severity. It clearly demonstrates that, when it comes to biotech foods, the perceived risks are largely imaginary and are certainly overstated. We invite you to view the full article below by
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OSF: Growers helping growers

As regular readers will know, my husband Neal and I are, above all else apple growers to the core. We spend way more time in our orchard than behind our desks, and truly embrace the orchardist lifestyle. When we founded OSF back in 1996, it certainly wasn’t to make a quick buck – 17 years later and we still have a couple years to wait before the Arctic® apple, our first product, is available in stores! Our motivation is to help our fellow growers and apple industry members produce more high-quality fruit and help address the flat-to-declining apple consumption across
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Working with the apple industry towards a shared goal

We’ve been growing apples in the beautiful Okanagan Valley for 18 years and have loved every minute of it. More often than not, we’re up before the sun in order to look after our fruit, and if you read Louisa’s post from last fall you know that we truly embrace the orchardist lifestyle. We didn’t found Okanagan Specialty Fruits because we don’t like apples the way they are, or to make a quick, easy buck (believe me when I say that nothing is quick or easy about bringing Arctic® apples to market!). We did it because we’ve seen declining apple
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Shopping for apples? What makes you decide?

Recently, we discussed which apple attributes consumers told us were most important to them. We weren’t surprised to find things like flavor and nutrition among the top choices, but how can shoppers identify these attributes while in the grocery store? The truth is they can’t! So, we asked 1,000 self-identified apple consumers how they choose one apple over another. What did we learn? Arctic® apples enhance the traits most important to shoppers! It’s been well known for a long time that consumers “buy” first with their eyes, and not surprisingly they rated the most eye-catching attribute as most important –
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