The nation’s leading apple shipper, Washington state, has a 2023 crop estimated at nearly 160 million bushels and valued at more than $2 billion — 9% higher than last year, according to USApple, of Falls Church, VA. The nonprofit industry association reports Washington accounts for 63.8% of U.S. apple production and 67.5% of the value.
Due to favorable weather, Washington expects to ship nearly 130 million cartons of apples this year, according to the Washington Tree Fruit Association. This compares to nearly 100 million cases shipped last season.
The Skagit Valley Food Co-op in Mt. Vernon, WA., ships about a dozen varieties of Washington apples in the fall, with four varieties available year-round.
Washington’s fuji apple has the largest volume year-round due to its price, which is often $1.49 per pound and sometimes as low as 99 cents per pound. This compares with $3.49 to $3.99 for other varieties. The apples are all organic.
Washington is home to more than 30 varieties of apples — some of them year-round mainstays, some more experimental new varieties, and others that fall somewhere in between. Of these apples, 72% go to the fresh market, according to USApple.
The state’s most popular apples are gala, Honeycrisp, red delicious and fuji.
Sage Fruit Co., Yakima, moves it biggest volume with Honeycrisp, gala, fuji, granny smith and Pink Lady. The fruit shipper handles sales and marketing for five grower-packer-shippers in the Pacific Northwest.