Apple consumers increasingly more interested in taste

Chelan Fresh specialises on three products: fresh Washington apples, pears and cherries. They also pack ship and market Canadian apples for a select group of premium quality BC Canada growers “We bring down approximately 175,000 cases of Ambrosia (organic apples) and 350,000 of Gala, which we pack and distribute from Chelan,” affirms Marketing Director Mac Riggan.

The current situation in the apple market, according to Mac, is marked by the fact that “supply is a lot greater than demand, forcing us to push into different markets and channels.” He says that “as supply retracts, as it naturally will, demand will be higher, but it will still be a difficult season, after 4/5 profitable years, with much of the profit being put back into growing.”

The main goal for the company is consequently to attract more consumers. “We are focusing on some club varieties, like the Ambrosia, or the Rockit, which will be exclusive for us, as well as the new Honeycrisp apple. I believe there will be more of these apples in the mainstream in the near future,” states Mac.

He assures that despite the consumer attraction to red coloured apples, which has an impact on exports, consumers are also becoming more aware of flavour. “The European customer buys mostly based on taste and not so much on colour, and in America more and more are buying the Honeycrisp, which are not as attractive looking, but guarantee a good flavour.”

Regarding cherries, which Chelan supplies from June to late August with its own production and from November to January with imports from Chile, Mac reports that “this year there will be a lot more cherries coming from Chile; 100,000 tonnes, compared to 60,000 last year, and importers are also counting on increased sales.”

For more information:
Mac Riggan
Chelan Fresh Marketing

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