GMO communication (Part 1): The juice is worth the squeeze

Over fifteen years before the first nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety was even approved in the U.S. and Canada, my family and I received a rude awakening regarding how big a challenge we had gotten ourselves into. Activists angry about the development of GMO apples had hacked over 650 of our young apple trees down. These particular trees weren’t even genetically engineered, but the activists either didn’t realize or simply didn’t care! Being involved in agriculture for over three decades, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected from the weather, pests and even people. And, while I’m happy to say the attack
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What do consumers think about biotech & the Arctic® apple?

This educational webinar by Jennifer Armen, hosted by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, is based on recent qualitative and quantitative consumer research. Jennifer shares current perceptions of biotech and Arctic® apples, what it takes to gain consumer acceptance, and why benefits are an important part of the discussion when it comes to helpful applications of biotechnology. Jennifer also answers questions, and explains how Arctic® apples are able to better maintain their natural color when sliced, bruised or bitten! Click here for the presentation audio and slides…
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Shopper’s feedback: Arctic® apples’ most convincing benefits

With a wider variety of products to choose from than ever before, there are countless factors that motivate shoppers to choose one food over another. With one tiny genetic change, Arctic® apples gain a number of benefits over their conventional counterparts, but which are the most appealing to consumers? To find out, we asked participants in our mall intercept survey which facts made them more interested in buying Arctic® apples. Below, learn the top six reasons the noted percentage of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase nonbrowning Arctic® apples: A cut Arctic® apple can be refrigerated in a zip-lock
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Shopper’s feedback: Arctic® apples’ appeal more than skin deep

You have heard us discuss boosting apple consumption as a key reason for developing Arctic® apples. This is primarily because of their suitability for freshcut products, and application in foodservice – no one finds brown apples visually appealing after all! In addition to the added convenience and eye-appeal of Arctic® apples, recent results of a comparative taste-test suggests the nonbrowning trait has a big impact on their “mouth-appeal” for consumers, too! As apples turn brown, an unpleasant eating experience is generated. When apple browning is initiated by the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO), the reaction causes melanin to form – changing
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Shopper’s feedback: Eye-appeal of Arctic® apples undeniable

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
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Shopper’s feedback: Apple browning is a major issue

Today, we’re kicking off a five-part series highlighting results from our latest consumer research. We commissioned a series of mall intercept surveys in four U.S. cities where shoppers were asked to answer a few questions about Arctic® apples. They were also presented with a plate of sliced Arctic® fruits beside conventional apples so they could see and taste the difference for themselves. First, consumers rated how big of an issue the browning of apples was to them on a scale of 1 (not a big issue) to 5 (a major issue). The majority, 55%, rated browning as either a 4
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Top 10 Consumer Questions About GMOs – Part 2

Continuing our countdown of GMOAnswers’ expert responses to the top-10 questions consumers have about biotech foods, here are #1-5: 5)  Are GMOs contaminating organic food crops? This is an important issue, and not a new one; neighboring farmers managing different crops and production methods have been going on long before GE crops were introduced. While pollen drift does occur in some instances, low-level presence of a biotech trait is allowed in organic production as long as the proper organic protocols are observed, so the risk to organic growers is minimal. As an aside, for Arctic® apples in particular the risk
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Top 10 Consumer Questions About GMOs – Part 1

Earlier this year GMO Answers, a website devoted to answering questions about biotech foods and providing reputable resources on the subject, released a list of the top 10 questions submitted by consumers. These questions were determined via a U.S. nationwide poll, and answers were gathered from scientists, doctors and other reputable experts. Now, a top-10 list with a few paragraphs answering each question about biotech foods may already be fairly “digestible” (ahem…) but if the developers of nonbrowning Arctic® apples know one thing, it’s that people value as much convenience as possible! So, without further ado, here are our ultra-concise,
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The best of both worlds: biotech’s health & sensory benefits

Consumers try to eat healthy, they really do! It’s too bad our silly little brains are programmed to often value instant gratification over long-term benefits, or else we’d all be super-fit gym nuts with 90-year life expectancies. Anyone who’s ever made (and then broken) New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier knows what we’re talking about. Plenty of research demonstrates that even though most consumers say they’re interested in eating healthier, their resolve slips when they’re actually shopping and eating, as they’re swayed by the convenience and taste of less nutritious alternatives. Yet, rather than change human nature itself, why not
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Misperceptions of consumer intentions

When General Mills announced they would be removing all biotech ingredients from their original Cheerios®, it was a pretty big story. The media loves controversy and the anti-GMO critics appeared to have won a major battle. In reality, though, the opposite may be true! A number of recent articles have shared some interesting news – making Cheerios GMO-free has done nothing to boost sales! This comes on the heels of reports that Cheerios and Grape-Nuts (which also recently switched to non-GMO) are now “certainly less nutritious” than before and have lost vitamins like B12, D, A and Riboflavin and sourcing
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