The Arctic Apple was developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) and has been marketed in several of Midwest locations as part of a promotion test. The apples have been sliced and marketed in 10-ounce grab-and-go bags which were a hit with customers. Observing the “amazing” results of the test run in U.S. markets, the non-browning Arctic Apple is slated for “aggressive expansion.” It will be some time before the item is available in Canada.
We saw robust, positive results. The data was amazing. When people had a chance to see the apple and experience it and realize how fantastic it is, I think that that’s a real game changer. That’s what’s allowed us to move forward very aggressively with a lot of confidence.” Neal Carter, founder, told CBC Daybreak South host Chris Walker
Growers and GMO opponents have repeatedly raised concerns regarding genetically engineered plants like the apple and the complex technology supporting it, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health Canada have both approved the Arctic Apple for sale.
Carter said customer polls performed in six store locations led to 92 percent of consumers stating they’d be quite likely or extremely likely to purchase the non-browning apples later on.
In addition, he said they saw practically no complaint concerning the genetic alteration of the food, which he found promising in light of the company’s expansion plans. “Our business model has us planting trees very aggressively,” Carter stated.
We understand that there’s a segment out there that chooses not to buy biotech and that’s fine, that’s their choice,” said Carter. “But it looks to us that there’s an awful lot of people that think this product is exciting and they’re really keen to try it and really keen to buy it.”
Carter has been working to create the Arctic apple since 1996. In 2015, his company was bought by Intrexon Corporation — a U.S. biotech company — that is now funding the planting of new trees. By 2022, he anticipates the firm will have more than 1,200 hectares planted in Washington state and will probably be developing more non-browning apples compared to all the apples grown in the Okanagan Valley.
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I don’t think we envisioned quite this aggressive of a plan.”
While he calls the U.S. evaluation run a triumph, he quotes that it will still be two more years before the apples are available for sale in Canada.
- B.C. creator of non-browning Arctic apple plans ‘aggressive expansion’ after positive U.S. test run – CBC