Marketing Apple Diversity
Poster presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science meeting, Waikoloa, Hawaii, Sep 25-28, 2011. Miller, D.D. and J. Racsko: Lack of correlation between instrumental firmness values and sensory perception of fruit texture in apples. HortScience 46(9):S246
Conducted grower/consumer taste panels at Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association annual meeting, January 17-19, 2011, Kalahari Resort, Sandusky, OH; 85 surveys completed. 2 MAIA selections were highly rated along with Honeycrisp, Suncrisp and Cameo.
Results presented of 2010 Fabulous Food Show at Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association annual meeting, January 17-19, 2011, Kalahari Resort, Sandusky, OH. 1332 consumers tasted and rated combinations of 4 varieties including MAIA selections and commercial varieties. 4 MAIA selections were among top tier of varieties rated. 75 growers attended session.
Fabulous Food Show consumer taste testing November 11-13, 2011, IX Center, Cleveland, OH; 850 consumers surveyed. MAIA selections were compared with top tier commercial varieties. Analysis of 2011 results is in progress.
More than 1000 2nd test trees of MAIA selections were planted by grower cooperators during 2011.
Pre-orders of 30,000 trees of first variety to be released from MAIA program were received.
Crispness and flavor were determined to be the critical factors in consumer acceptance of a new variety, however, crispness was difficult to measure as it did not correlate well with firmness (the standard measurement).
Increase grower awareness of the quality of disease-resistant varieties, both currently available and new varieties in the development pipeline (MAIA selections) by speaking at grower meetings and doing consumer taste panel work.
Increase consumer awareness of new apple varieties and compare taste and quality attributes by articles, tastings, and working with produce marketers.
Consumer apple preference survey presented to 850 consumers at Fabulous Food Show, Cleveland, OH; survey results being compiled including overall preference of apple varieties, impact of flavor, texture, appearance, price, growing area and other factors on purchasing behavior of consumers.
Fabulous Food Show apple parameters of firmness, soluble solids, shape, size and color of apples quantitatively evaluated.
Subjective and objective components of consumer ratings of apple evaluations analyzed to look for key components in consumer acceptance of new varieties. Crispness and flavor were most important attributes in consumer acceptance – far more important than the grocery store evaluation methods of firmness, soluble solids and appearance.
Appearance was not an important contributor to apple variety acceptance by Fabulous Food Show consumers.
The top MAIA selection is in the process of being multiplied by a commercial nursery and pre-orders of trees are being accepted with 30,000 ordered thus far. This selection will be patented and trademarked by the Midwest Apple Improvement Association.
Excitement for improved varieties for the Midwest US is greatly increasing among growers.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
One poster on “Lack of correlation between instrumental firmness values and sensory perception of fruit texture in apples”; presented as ASHS meeting to professional national colleagues. This information is critical because it definitely shows that firmness does not equate to crispness in the consumer’s evaluations and we do not have an effective measuring tool to quantify crispness.
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