September 2020 - 1

New Australian varieties
to be marketed in US
Apple scab curbed
with seafood industy
Tutorial pinpoints what
makes blueberries grow
September 2020 | Volume 59 |
Issue 9
Clockwise from the top left,
SweeTango, Evercrisp, Cosmic
Crisp, Rave/FirstKiss. Photos:
Next Big Thing, Midwest Apple
improvement Association,
Proprietary Variety Management,
Stemilt Growers
Managed varieties persevere during pandemic
By Stephen Kloosterman
Associate Editor
Managed apple varieties are boldly
continuing their marketing efforts in a
season disrupted by disease.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic,
other challenges remain: A crowded field
of competing apples, non-discriminating
customers and retailers trying to simplify
their shelf spaces.
" There are somewhere close to 40
branded apples and over 100 varieties across
the country and there's no way retailers
can have them all, " said Kathryn Grandy,
director of marketing for Proprietary
Variety Management. PVM manages several
apple varieties, including Cosmic Crisp
and the very first branded apple, Pink Lady,
which she said is still being actively planted
decades after its debut.
" I think all of these delicious, branded
apples are going to help reinvigorate the
category, " Grandy said. " I think people are
definitely moving to branded apples, and I
think over time we'll see some of the older
varieties reduce. I think eventually the
produce section in general - all fruits and
vegetables - will be branded. "
Customers need to be taught the
differences between different brands, said
Jennifer L. Parkhill, executive director of the
Next Big Thing, a grower co-op that invests
in apple varieties.
" We as an industry have got to do a
better job at educating consumers at what
they're buying. Consumers have a variety
of different taste profiles; how can we as an
industry do a better job getting consumers
to the right apple without having them
guess? We need to direct consumers to a
great eating experience and to do that in
the apple category you have to stand out, "
said Jennifer L. Parkhill, executive director
of the Next Big Thing (NBT), a grower's
co-op that currently promotes the
SweeTango apple.
" The apple industry is one of the most
innovative produce industries out there -
and with the number of varieties we have
available I think consumers are confused
at what apples to buy, " Parkhill said. " We
have almost 100 different varieties grown
in the U.S. alone. We need to partner with
retail and educate consumers through
innovative marketing methods. You have
to be a variety that stands out from the rest
and we believe that SweeTango delivers this
consistently every year.
With 2019's trade wars and the current
pandemic, apple sales had lagged but the
industry is seeing a recent double-digit
uptick in sales, she said.
" The apple market has had a slowdown but
things are looking up with many consumers
now eating more home-based meals and
snacks, " Parkhill said. " Apples are the second
most consumed fruit in the U.S., only second
to bananas. Apples are seeing pressure from
citrus and berries as consumer spending is
being widely spread across the fruit category.
We have seen decreasing sales and need
to figure out how to get that market share
back. NBT is working hard to develop better
consumer marketing and expanding of the
SweeTango brand direct to consumers. "
There's very fierce price and product
competition out there, she said.
COVID-19 has affected the retail market.
See VARIETIES, page 5

September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2020

September 2020 - 1
September 2020 - 2
September 2020 - 3
September 2020 - 4
September 2020 - 5
September 2020 - 6
September 2020 - 7
September 2020 - 8
September 2020 - 9
September 2020 - 10
September 2020 - 11
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September 2020 - 15
September 2020 - 16
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