Arctic® apples proud to empower healthy eating in schools

  Summerland, B.C., Canada – For Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), the company behind nonbrowning Arctic® apple varieties, promoting healthy eating isn’t just a goal, it’s a passion. When Jennifer Armen, Director of Business Development & Marketing for OSF, was given the opportunity to help put salad bars in schools, she jumped at the chance. In July, Jenn took part in the Tour de Fresh three-day cycling event that raises funds to benefit the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative. Having both personal and professional ties to Idaho, Jenn chose to fundraise for a salad bar to be donated to
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Seeking an end to a negative consumption trend

“Apple consumption needs a boost” read a headline in “Good Fruit Grower” magazine earlier this month, and we couldn’t agree more! According to respected agricultural economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke, per-capita consumption of apples has been declining fairly steadily for 20 years, partially due to increased competition from other fruits and snacks. And, while the article focuses primarily on the marketing of Washington apples specifically, we believe Dr. O’Rourke’s comment that “there’s nobody really trying to expand the market for apples in general” is cause for concern if we’re expecting apple consumption to really take off! In the apple industry, there’s
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Watch: First commercial Arctic® apples planted!

This spring, the first commercial Arctic® apples were planted, bringing us one big step closer to making the first truly nonbrowning apple varieties available to eager consumers! We captured this momentous occassion on film so we could share the experience with everyone, either on our YouTube channel or directly below:
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Popcorn reborn: More convenience = greater consumption

Every January, a plethora of articles on the biggest food trends of the past year are published; last week one in particular caught our eye – the exploding demand for ready-to-eat popcorn. “The ‘astounding’ reinvention of popcorn as “Millennial friendly, cool and healthy””, a Jan 15th article from Food Navigator, quotes a recent Rabobank report that found sales of bagged, pre-popped popcorn are up 60% since 2012 – a substantial increase in just a couple years! As the article explains, “it is never too late for a category to reinvent itself” and the popcorn industry has done just that. According
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Creating a bigger piece of the (apple) pie

As we often say, boosting apple consumption is a goal everyone supports. We all know apples are extremely healthy, and preferable to other popular snacks like candy and chips. Plus, they’re high in fiber which can help apple-eaters feel fuller than alternatives with “empty” calories – clearly a major benefit with the obesity crisis. Great, we all agree! So what? Everyone knows fruits and veggies are good for us but even amidst frequent calls to eat 7 servings a day, or at least 5, the average U.S. consumer eats less than 3. The produce industry’s challenge is to make consumers
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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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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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Why start with nonbrowning apples?

At Okanagan Specialty Fruits, one of the most common questions we get is, “What made you choose nonbrowning apples as your first product?” As with most crops, there are plenty of pests that can make life very difficult for apple growers, such as fire blight and apple scab, and the majority of biotech crops to date have focused on what we call input or agronomic traits, which assist in the production of the crop. While we’re also working on solutions to some of the challenges faced by our fellow orchardists, we believe the potential impact of Arctic® apples is just
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Competing for stomach space

Karl Haro von Mogel, the chair of Biofortified, recently shared a video of his interview with OSF president Neal Carter from BIO 2013 as well as some interesting thoughts on our nonbrowning Arctic® apples. One of the topics they discussed is the competition for stomach space apples have with junk food like candy bars or chips. Especially notable in the wake of Halloween, we see it’s often easier for consumers to grab bite-sized, packaged snacks rather than grabbing a whole apple. However, that could quickly change with the convenience and freshcut suitability of Arctic apples. You can watch the full
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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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