Marketing Apple Diversity
- Conducted grower/consumer taste panels at joint Kentucky State Horticulture and Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) meeting Jan 3-4 featuring 5 disease-resistant cultivars and 4 new MAIA selections and 3 standard cultivars. 75 surveys completed. Honeycrisp, Crimson Crisp, Sundance and Suncrisp were top-rated cultivars overall.
Conducted MAIA apple tasting of 29 MAIA numbered disease-resistant selections and Honeycrisp and Crimson Crisp. 20 dedicated tasters. 5 MAIA selections rated as high as Honeycrisp.
Disease-resistant apple display and informal tasting at Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association (OPGMA) meeting Jan.18-19 with 80 growers.
Presented results of 2009 Fabulous Food Show (FFS) apple tasting with 7 disease-resistant varieties, 7 standard varieties and 6 MAIA selections at Eastern Ohio Fruit School; Feb. 26; 60 growers.
Indiana Horticulture Society summer tour discussion of disease-resistant varieties and MAIA plantings, Roann, IN; 15 growers.
Poster presented at American Society for Horticulture Science meeting, Palm Desert, CA July 31-Aug 6 on results from FFS 2009 survey results – Factors influcencing consumer behavior when purchasing and buying apples –
Poster presented at International Society for Horticultural Science meeting, Lisbon, Portugal Aug 20-Aug 30 – Factors influencing consumer behavior when purchasing and buying apples –
Fabulous Food show consumer apple tasting event in Cleveland OH Nov 12-14; 12 sessions involving 1332 consumers. Total number of cultivars/selections tested = 33 (18 cultivars and 15 selections). Pink Lady and an MAIA selection highest rated by consumers; followed by Honeycrisp and an MAIA selection. Honeycrisp, Crimson Crisp, Sundance, Suncrisp, GoldRush and Pixie Crunch highly rated by consumers. Fruit quality evaluated including texture, pressure, soluble solids, calcium content, fiber, scanning electron microscope imaging to better correlate fruit attributes with consumer preference
Increased awareness and excitement of Fruit Growers Marketing Association, Midwest Apple Improvement Association and Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association of disease-resistant varieties and over 1000 trial trees planted by growers.
- Fabulous Food Show 2010 Overall Ratings
- Fabulous Food Show sign
- International Society for Horticultural Science consumer poster
- Apple tasting samples FFS 2010
- American Society for Horticultural Science poster
- Fabulous Food Show 2009 overall ratings
- Increase grower awareness of the quality of disease-resistant varieties, both currently available and new varieties in the development pipeline (MAIA selections).
Increase consumer awareness of new apple varieties and compare taste and quality attributes.
Using consumer survey data, begin to develop a profile of importance of traits of crispness and flavor in consumer apple preference.
Using consumer survey data, determine consumer reasons for purchasing/eating apples and other fruits.
Work with FGMA to begin developing marketing strategy for new varieties.
- Consumer apple preference survey developed and presented to 1332 consumers at Fabulous Food Show Cleveland OH; survey results compiled including overall preference of apple varieties, impact of taste, appearance, price, growing area and other factors on purchasing behavior of consumers.
Quantitative evaluation of apple quality parameters including texture, soluble solids, firmness, shape, size, color of apples offered to consumers during Fabulous Food Show.
Taste shown to be most important factor that influences consumer apple purchasing behavior; appearance, price, growing area and sales place were also important but at lower levels; no particular importance given to advertisement or origin of apple; no close correlation was found between annual household income and the importance score given to apple price; younger consumers eat apples more often than do older ones; most common reason for purchasing/eating apples is health/diet, particularly for female consumers.
Information on disease resistant apple varieties currently available and in the development pipeline (MAIA selections) presented to a total of more than 250 Midwest apple growers during various state meetings during 2010.
Superior and preferred disease-resistant varieties were identified for future marketing research.
MAIA and FGMA board members are providing continual guidance on this project and have become very engaged in the progress.
Excitement for improved varieties for the Midwest US is greatly increasing among growers.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
- Two posters on consumer preference for apple cultivars – one presented at ASHS meeting to professional national colleagues; one presented at ISHS meeting (Portugal) to professional international colleagues – both acknowledging SARE program for project conducted.
We are learning what are the most important factors in consumer preference for fresh apples – crispness is the major factor and taste is a second major factor. We are correlating apple quantitative parameters with subjective consumer preferences.
We also are seeing bimodal ratings for apples with distinct flavors -some people really like them and some people really dislike them.
We are collaborators with eXtension community of practice on apple rootstocks and varieties to further disseminate the information on varieties from this project. The launch date for that site is June 2011.
Program Specialist – Tree Fruit Crops
OARDC/The Ohio State University
Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
1680 Madison Avenue
Wooster, OH 44691
Office Phone: 3309882458