“I think the whole category continues to grow. Overall it’s going to be good for the business. It’s big news.”
More sales and firmer prices seem certain to result, said Tim Mansfield, sales and marketing director with Burt, N.Y.-based Sun Orchard Fruit Co.
“What it does is put a floor, helps take away some of the product that may end up in processing and strengthens the foodservice sector,” he said.
“It helps strengthen the slicing part of the equation. The great benefit is we’re starting to educate young consumers about the benefits of apples.”
Karin Rodriguez, executive director of the Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program, said everyone in the business will benefit.
“It’s a super-exciting announcement for our industry, and it’s good news for all apple growers,” she said.
“I assume that everybody in the country will benefit from that.”
Lee Peters, vice president of salesand marketing with Wolcott, N.Y.-based Fowler Bros. Inc., agreed.
“We like to see companies grow, and that helps us grow and it’s good for the consuming public and the next generation of apple purchasers,” he said.
The McDonald’s announcement also came at a time when apple shipments to schools appeared to be headed upward.
“We work real close with our school foodservice in New York and work very hard with the USDA, and they recently said schools can specifically request regionally grown apples,” Allen said.
“Before, they couldn’t do that, so we’ve worked hard on that. Foodservice, we do interact with the large foodservice providers, especially those that interact with schools and colleges. The customers at the colleges are students and they say they want to buy what is grown here, so those companies supplying the colleges we work with.”