Supply for MAIA-1 apples, marketed as EverCrisp®, has more than doubled for the 2018-19 season, and growers and distributors are anticipating strong demand at retail and on farm. All told, there are close to 700,000 MAIA-1 trees and 500 orchards in 32 states.
“We recently harvested our 2018 EverCrisp and are thrilled with the outcome,” says Bill Dodd, president of Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) and owner of Hillcrest Orchards in Amherst, Ohio. “We have double the crop of last year and the fruit continues to look better and better with each harvest. This new apple variety has tremendous potential.”
“Sporting a nice red finish, EverCrisp was looking great on the tree, and the harvested apple tastes just as good as it looked,” adds Scott Swindeman, co-owner of Applewood Orchards in Deerfield, Mich. “We have about a 25 percent increase over last year and are looking forward to seeing these apples in stores in the next few months.”
Members of the MAIA – which grow the MAIA-1 variety – anticipate selling more than 60,000 boxes to retail this season, double the amount last year, with a heavy retail presence in the Northern Ohio area as well as other markets to be announced later in the season. Because of its late harvest and excellent storage, distributors market the apple as a late season apple, meaning most EverCrisp will be on retail shelves in early 2019.
Introductory EverCrisp retail sales were high and growers are anticipating a strong demand this year as well. Last season at Heinen’s grocery store, which has 23 locations between Cleveland and Chicago, EverCrisp was the top-selling apple after five weeks of an eight-week test run.
John Cushing, senior vice president of sales/marketing at New York Apple Sales, Inc. noted a significant increase over the 2017 season. “Enthusiasm and demand for the EverCrisp apple are high as we enter harvest season. The apple sells itself, so we are very thankful for this increase in supply.”
Growers Dan and Cindy Russell of Russell Orchards in Wenatchee, Wash. recently harvested their first EverCrisp. “Everybody who has sampled the apple loves them. We are excited to have MAIA-1 trees as we are sure they are going to be a big hit with the public.”
As interest in this apple surges, growers continue to plant more acres of EverCrisp. “I’m optimistic that once people try EverCrisp, they will come back for more,” Dodd added.