LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Crunch Time Apple Growers, a New York State-based cooperative of 152 member growers, announced its largest anticipated crop volume of SnapDragon™ apples: 400,000 bushels, a 25 percent increase year-over-year. The sweet, crisp apples are ready to be packed and shipped, with the first apples hitting select produce aisles now, and wider distribution expected in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022.
“While other premium apple varieties grown elsewhere in the U.S. have seen challenges, we’re seeing really good size, color and flavor as harvest begins in upstate New York,” said Jessica Wells, Crunch Time Apple Growers executive director. “After months of nurturing the crop, our growers are excited to get SnapDragon apples, with their Monster Crunch and amazing flavor, into the hands of consumers. We know from our social media channels consumers are ready too.”
This harvest season will also mark the first with three new distribution partners: Applewood Fresh Growers LLC, Rice Fruit Company and Riveridge Produce Marketing. These new packers and shippers will allow Crunch Time Apple Growers to expand its geographic reach among existing grocers and new retail partners, particularly in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.
“Consumers all over the country have tried SnapDragon apples and want the opportunity to purchase them from their favorite retailers on a consistent basis. These new partnerships open the door to do exactly that,” stated Wells.
“SnapDragon is a variety that changes what people think of eating apples,” said fifth-generation farmer Joel Crist of Crist Bros. Orchards Inc. and Crunch Time Apple Growers board chair. “SnapDragon has always been about elevating the consumer eating experience and driving consumption of fresh apples. It’s easy for us to understand why, in a very short period of time, SnapDragon has risen to the top of the pack.”
To demonstrate the ongoing success of SnapDragon in the premium apple category since its release in 2014, Crunch Time Apple Growers recently partnered with Category Partners, a top market analyst firm for the food and beverage industry, to study the top 10 retailers that carried SnapDragon apples during the 2020 crop year (October 2020 to June 2021), in addition to reported Nielsen data. The findings showed:
- SnapDragon was ranked the sixth most popular premium apple variety nationwide and the top premium apple grown on the East Coast.
- SnapDragon generated year-over-year volume growth in all of the top 10 retailers and was the only apple that showed growth across all retailers in the study.
- SnapDragon posted double-digit sales growth year-over-year in the East Coast market.
- SnapDragon grew seven percent overall in volume year-over-year across all markets.
- In terms of dollar growth, SnapDragon generated the 10th strongest performance among the 26 identified premium apple varieties.
SnapDragon apples were developed, nurtured and bred by Dr. Susan Brown of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Commercially, all of the apples are grown in New York, which gives the variety a competitive advantage over West Coast premium apples in terms of more cost-effective transportation to primary selling regions, thus creating greater freshness and quality, and lower shelf prices.
For more information on where to buy and stock SnapDragon apples, visit snapdragonapple.com.
About Crunch Time Apple Growers
When you bite into a Crunch Time apple, you’re not just tasting an incredible apple, but the incredible love and labor of 152 family farmers across New York State. Every Crunch Time apple is non-GMO — super crunchy, delightfully juicy, beautifully colored and carefully grown. When you purchase a Crunch Time apple, you’re biting into history while also helping to sustain the future of family farming for generations to come. For more information, please visit CrunchTimeAppleGrowers.com, SnapDragonApple.com or RubyFrostApple.com.