Industry is looking for varieties that are grower friendly, can store well and have a flavor profile that is unique, he said.
Heavy supplies and low margins could force more consolidation, said Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, Wenatchee.
“If we are approaching a time when we could be in a supply-exceeds-demand scenario, which most of us could argue would argue could be happening in the next two to three years, we are going to see further consolidation,” he said.
Most sales entities are always looking for the next apple, but Fryhover said that push might have cooled off a bit in the last few years.
However, Fryhover said a diversification of desirable varieties is essential for growers, especially as production levels escalate.
“If you are growers of premium fruit, almost across any variety, you are going to do fine,” he said.
Growers who are producing No. 2 grades will struggle if supply exceeds demand, he said. “That’s the key message to our growers — you really need to grow premium fruit,” he said.