Idaho Falls, Idaho-based research firm Category Partners surveyed a group of consumers about Cosmic Crisp and found that many respondents gave the new variety rave reviews.
Because the heavily promoted apple has made only a limited launch at this point, finding Cosmic Crisp consumers to survey was tricky, said senior vice president for insights and innovation Steve Lutz. To circumvent that challenge, Category Partners identified prospective respondents from “a social media site with a wide following among alumni of Washington State University,” according to a news release. The idea was that, because the apple was developed there, people associated with WSU would be more likely to have tried the variety.
Among participants in the survey, reviews of the apple were positive.
“86% of these survey respondents stated they were completely satisfied with Cosmic Crisp,” Cara Ammon, senior vice president of research and market intel, said in the release. “74% of respondents indicate they intend to buy Cosmic Crisp again in the future. Even assuming implied favoritism among the respondent base, those are strong numbers.”
She noted the survey does not have the same implications as a more traditional random survey, however.
“The positive response to Cosmic Crisp from the 460 consumers who participated in the survey must be evaluated in context with the potential for bias that is inherent in the respondent base,” Ammon said in the release. “Bottom line, while this is not a tool to project the results to the broader population, the feedback we received from these respondents can be seen as very encouraging.”
The flavor, texture, crunch and non-browning characteristic of the apple scored well with the people who took the survey, while one area of concern was price.
“57% of consumers said they felt Cosmic Crisp was more expensive than I expected,” Ammon said in the release. “That’s a bit of a surprise, but we also know that more than half of the Cosmic Crisp buyers say they paid more than $2.50 per pound.”
The variety will make its nationwide debut at the end of this year. Its much-anticipated launch in December last year followed unprecedented mainstream media coverage of the variety, and the marketing budget for the apple — over the span of several years — is a whopping $10 million.
“Cosmic Crisp has been an aggressive new product introduction given the advance publicity generated within the produce industry,” Lutz said in the release. “There have been years of publicity leading up to this introduction, so we thought it would be interesting to get an initial glimpse into consumer reaction.
“I think I would sleep a little better if I were a Cosmic Crisp grower after seeing these results,” Lutz said. “Millions have been invested in planting thousands of acres of Cosmic Crisp with a hope shoppers will like it and buy it. So far, this early measure from consumers is certainly encouraging.”