A retailer displays SnapDragon apples, which this season saw a significant increase in sales over the previous year. ( Courtesy Crunch Time Apple Growers )

With the 2017-18 sales season all wrapped up, branded apple varieties SnapDragon and RubyFrost both logged significant sales increases over last year.

Crunch Time Apple Growers, the grower cooperative that markets the varieties, reported in a news release that SnapDragon sales were up 38% by the end of the first quarter of 2018 over the same period a year ago, and RubyFrost sales were up 58% by the end of the second quarter of 2018 over the previous year.

Retailers that carried the managed apple varieties included Trader Joe’s, Acme, Hannaford, Sprouts, Costco, New York chains Price Chopper and Wegmans, and several new retailers including H-E-B in Texas and Roundy’s in Wisconsin, according to the release.

“We are very fortunate to work with an amazing group of shippers and packers who have positioned these apples with important large retailers as well as boutique and independent markets who reach our niche consumer,” Crunch Time director of marketing Rena Montedoro said in the release.

Crunch Time sells through six New York shippers — Apple Acres, Fowler Farms, Hudson River Fruit Distributors, New York Apple Sales, Niagara Fresh and United Apple Sales — as well as Hess Bros. Fruit in Pennsylvania and Belle Harvest in Michigan, according to the release.

A 75% increase from 2017 in direct consumer marketing along with the traditional mix of trade marketing contributed to the increased sales this season, Montedoro said.

The cooperative’s growers expect a good crop for the 2018-19 season, and volume is expected to increase by 75% as the mature trees deliver more volume, according to the release.

 
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