EverCrisp Growers Are Planting Acres To Support Expected Retail Demand
by Midwest Apple Improvement Association
Posted: 2018-01-10 09:03:08 EST

Newcomerstown, Ohio – The MAIA-1 apple – marketed as EverCrisp® – is tracking for explosive growth in the produce aisle in the coming years. Big on sweet flavor and juicy, crisp texture, EverCrisp apples have won over customers in orchards and at select retailers, establishing a foundation of early fans.

“EverCrisp apples have all the characteristics that customers are looking for in a new apple. Customers love them and they’re coming back for more,” says Vinnie Latessa, director of produce for Heinen’s Grocery Store, which has 23 locations between Cleveland and Chicago.

Latessa says EverCrisp is a great fit for the retailer’s renowned local produce program that features about a dozen Ohio apples. “We’re featuring EverCrisp as a late season apple. Even with a later start, EverCrisp is rivaling sales of Honeycrisp. It’s a close second in our lineup of apples from a sales and volume standpoint.”

The apple – known as variety MAIA-1 to breeders and growers – was developed by the Midwest Apple Improvement Association. There are 350 orchards growing EverCrisp apples in 32 states. The largest number of growers are concentrated in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and New York, but EverCrisp apples are also expanding nationwide.

In Washington’s premier apple growing region, Gus Heinicke, an orchard manager for Columbia Fruit Packers, started with a small plot of 10 MAIA-1 trees about four years ago. “I’m really excited about EverCrisp,” says Heinicke. “The fruit on our older trees was outstanding this year.”

While it will be three or four years before Columbia Fruit Packers has enough volume, he thinks EverCrisp will be a distinctive addition to the company’s variety mix offered to retailers. “I’m planting more acres so we can move forward with EverCrisp.”

Growers capitalize on EverCrisp for farm markets and u-pick

Depending on the region, EverCrisp apples are typically harvested in October through November. Garwood Orchards in LaPort, Indiana, positions EverCrisp apples as the successor to Honeycrisp’s picking season.

“EverCrisp is a great apple for us as it continues to bring people to the orchard. Once customers try one, they pick only EverCrisp,” says orchard owner Brian Garwood. Orchards and farm markets, like Garwood Orchards which draws crowds from Chicago and South Bend metro areas, provide wide customer exposure for new varieties, often fueling retailer adoption.

Durability and storability

Grower Dave Rennhack of Rennhack Orchards Market in Hart, Michigan, applauds the apple’s firmness and storability. He says, “The apple eats even better after a few months of storage. The flavor mellows out a bit and the coloration turns from an underlying green cast to pineapple gold, making it very appealing.” Rennhack plans to offer EverCrisp when the farm market reopens in the spring.

Latessa concurs. “While people are blown away by the snap of the apple, that same quality makes it a durable apple for handlers and retailers. It will be great if our supply lasts through February.”

Learn more at EverCrispApple.com and follow social channels Facebook.com/EverCrispApple, Twitter @EverCrispApple or Instagram @evercrispapple for the latest updates about your next favorite apple.

About Midwest Apple Improvement Association 
Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) was formed in the mid-1990s with the goal of developing apple varieties to suit the climate and challenges faced by growers in the Midwest. Today, there are more than 450 members across the United States, Canada and internationally. To date, they’ve bred, grown, harvested and evaluated more than 50,000 seedlings. The MAIA-1 apple variety – marketed as EverCrisp® under strict quality control regulations – is the first variety to arrive on the market.

Source: Midwest Apple Improvement Association