The company behind the non-browning Arctic Apple is gearing up for its commercial launch with U.S. retailers this fall, following the recent completion of successful market testing.
Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ Arctic Golden apples, whose PPO genes have been silenced through genetic modification, gained U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2015.
While volumes are still limited, company founder Neal Carter said there would be “exponential” growth in the coming years as more budwood became available and more nurseries came on board.
Details of the recent market trials are largely being kept under wraps for now to create more buzz prior to the October roll-out, but Carter said he couldn’t have asked for more positive consumer feedback.
“To be honest, we couldn’t have dreamt up this good a result. To me, in a nutshell, that’s how it went,” he said.
An important aspect of the trials – which involved 10-ounce Arctic slices in a grab-and-go bags – had been confirming the marketing strategy, packaging and production positioning.
“The bag’s bright, colorful and eye-catching, and has Arctic Apple slices with absolutely no treatment whatsoever. What we found is that most consumers were interested in purchasing Arctic Apples, and in a taste test comparison it was the preferred product,” he said.
“Based on this research we really felt that we’re ready.”
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