Marketing Apple Diversity
- Poster presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science meeting, Miami, Florida, July 29- Aug 1, 2012. Miller, D.D. and J. Racsko. Fruit Quality Preference and Availability of Quality Fruit: A Case Study with ‘Honeycrisp’ Apple.
Conducted grower/consumer taste panels at Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association annual meeting, Jan 2012, Kalahari Resort, Sandusky, OH, 120 participants
Conducted grower/consumer taste panels at Kentucky State Horticulture annual meeting, Lexington, KY, Jan 2012, 100 participants
Conducted grower/consumer taste panels at Indiana State Horticulture meeting, Jan 2012, Indianapolis, IN, 80 participants
Conducted grower/consumer taste panels at Michigan State Horticulture meeting, Dec 2012, Grand Rapids, MI, 85 participants
Presentation: Midwest Apple Improvement Association overview and status. Annual meeting of the Kentucky State Horticulture Society, Jan 2012, Lexington, KY; 100 attendees
Presentation: Midwest Apple Improvement Association overview and status. Annual meeting of the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association, Jan 2012, Sandusky, OH; 120 attendees
Presentation: Midwest Apple Improvement Association overview and status. Annual meeting of the Indiana Horticulture Society, Jan 2012, Indianapolis, IN; 50 attendees
Presentation: Midwest Apple Improvement Association overview and status. Annual meeting of the Michigan State Horticulture Society, Dec 2012, Grand Rapids, MI; 350 attendees
Consumer taste panels determined that fruit quality of a high quality, highly preferred variety, ‘Honeycrisp’ from grocery stores does not always meet consumer expectations. Fruit quality and consumer preference of ‘Honeycrisp’ apples varied widely among grocery stores at a given purchasing occasion, and also over time within the same supermarket/grocery store.
- 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.
- Awareness of, and excitement for, the potential of new varieties increased among fruit growers in the Midwest by presentations and tastings at 4 state meetings to 600 Midwest fruit growers.
Impact of quality of each variety for consumer preference shown by comparing ‘Honeycrisp’ purchased from grocery stores at various times. High quality varieties in poor condition can dramatically decrease consumer preference and, we believe, negatively impact consumer demand for that variety. Growers and marketers must work together to maintain high quality through the production and marketing chain.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
- Knowledge of the impact and opportunities of new apple varieties is emerging among Midwest growers; This initially occurred before this SARE project with the consumer response to the crispness of ‘Honeycrisp’ but this project has stimulated it further by growers tasting the quality parameters of new Midwest Apple Improvement Associationn (MAIA) selections. Membership in MAIA has increased by 85 new members (144 total) since the release of a new MAIA variety.
Growers became aware of the consumer response to potential new MAIA varieties as compared to current standard varieties through this SARE project and this is part of the equation for their interest in new varieties. The decision to release as a variety a new MAIA selection resulted in part from consumer tastings done as a part of this SARE project. That new high quality variety has pre-sold 250,000 trees to growers in the Midwest (and beyond). We believe this willingness to adopt new consumer-friendly varieties will continue to increase, and this SARE project was part of the stimulus for overcoming grower reluctance to consider new varieties.
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