SnapDragon Apple Shipments to Increase 25% This Season

SnapDragon Apple Shipments to Increase 25% This Season

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Crunch Time Apple Growers, a New York State-based cooperative of 152 member growers, announced its largest anticipated crop volume of SnapDragon™ apples: 400,000 bushels, a 25 percent increase year-over-year. The sweet, crisp apples are being packed and shipped, with the first apples hitting select produce aisles now, and wider distribution expected in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022.

This harvest season will also mark the first with three new distribution partners: Applewood Fresh Growers LLC, and
Riveridge Produce Marketing, both of Sparta, MI; and Rice Fruit Company, Gardners, PA. These new packers and shippers will allow Crunch Time Apple Growers to expand its geographic reach among existing grocers and new retail partners, particularly in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

“While other premium apple varieties grown elsewhere in the U.S. have seen challenges, we’re seeing really good size, color and flavor as harvest begins in upstate New York,” said Jessica Wells, Crunch Time Apple Growers executive director. “After months of nurturing the crop, our growers are excited to get SnapDragon apples, with their Monster Crunch and amazing flavor, into the hands of consumers. We know from our social media channels consumers are ready too.”

“SnapDragon is a variety that changes what people think of eating apples,” said fifth-generation farmer Joel Crist of Crist Bros. Orchards Inc. and Crunch Time Apple Growers board chair. “SnapDragon has always been about elevating the consumer eating experience and driving consumption of fresh apples. It’s easy for us to understand why, in a very short period of time, SnapDragon has risen to the top of the pack.”

To demonstrate the ongoing success of SnapDragon in the premium apple category since its release in 2014, Crunch Time Apple Growers recently partnered with Category Partners, a top market analyst firm for the food and beverage industry, to study the top 10 retailers that carried SnapDragon apples during the 2020 crop year (October 2020 to June 2021), in addition to reported Nielsen data. The findings showed:

  • SnapDragon was ranked the sixth most popular premium apple variety nationwide and the top premium apple grown on the East Coast.
  • SnapDragon generated year-over-year volume growth in all of the top 10 retailers and was the only apple that showed growth across all retailers in the study.
  • SnapDragon posted double-digit sales growth year-over-year in the East Coast market.
  • SnapDragon grew seven percent overall in volume year-over-year across all markets.
  • In terms of dollar growth, SnapDragon generated the 10th strongest performance among the 26 identified premium apple varieties.