Jun 4, 2010
03:44 PMOut of the Orchard
A change of variety
Approximately one third of Washington’s apples is exported to 60 markets, and in the last five years, Red Delicious accounted for approximately 43 percent of these exports. Although only representing 30 percent of total production, Red Delicious remains a significant variety with international consumers. As Washington growers continue to diversify varietal plantings, expanding the international consumers' knowledge of Washington’s many ‘other’ varieties is a priority.
Just a decade ago, Red and Golden Delicious accounted for 61 percent of total production—today the two varieties comprise only 39 percent. In this same time period, Gala has doubled to slightly less than 20 million cartons, Granny Smith’s volume increased 50 percent and Fuji was up 10 percent. I think that the industry agrees our path is headed towards 30 million each for Red Delicious and Gala, and 20 million each for Granny Smith and Fuji. As we move down the path to increasing export opportunity for Washington’s ‘other’ varieties, it’s imperative varietal availability and consumer preferences mesh.
Next week – matching Washington varietal growth with the market.