Okanagan Specialty Fruits Expands Arctic ApBitz™ Snacks
SUMMERLAND, BC - When I was a kid, apple slices were the schoolyard snack everyone wanted to get their hands on. So, when I heard about Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.'s Arctic ApBitz™, I immediately fell back in time to summer days fueled by the goodness of apples.
This product, part of the company’s sustainability efforts, are made from its Arctic® Goldens that were either too big or too small for fresh slices. I chatted with Neal Carter, President of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., to learn more about this unique product.
"Arctic ApBitz snacks are fry-cut and dried from our Arctic Golden nonbrowning apples,” Neal tells me, explaining that the company has always planned to create a dehydrated, preservative-free Arctic apple snack. "Acknowledging that not all fruit is suitably sized for slicing, we’ve been working on innovative ways to use our nonbrowning Arctic Goldens from this past harvest to give consumers more ways to eat more apples and the ability to maximize the benefit of our entire crop."
The product, which debuted to U.S. customers this last March on Amazon, became the number-one release in both the snack and dried fruit categories on the website. According to Neal, it’s receiving nothing but “rave reviews.”
“The dried apples have been designated as an 'Amazon’s Choice' product thanks to their strong star-rating and availability to ship immediately,” Neal shares with me. “We decided to make Arctic ApBitz dried apples initially available online via Amazon.com so that everyone in the U.S. would have convenient access to our sweet and crunchable Arctic ApBitz snacks.”
ApBitz snacks are made 100 percent from Arctic Golden apples. They’re preservative-free, with a unique, fry-cut style that makes them easy for toddlers to pick up or hungry adults to crumble over yogurt. In addition to its inherent yumminess, part of the product’s success is due to the company’s commitment to sustainability and reduction of food waste.
“An estimated 40 percent of apples are wasted due to superficial browning, and Arctic apples can benefit nearly every segment of the supply chain by reducing waste and offering improved product quality through our unique nonbrowning traits,” Neal states. “Arctic ApBitz dried apples are the continuation of these efforts, ensuring that no apples are wasted, and helping us in our commitment to sustainability."
For those wondering if this product might ever hit retailers’ shelves, you needn’t wonder anymore. Neal explained to me that given the positive feedback from consumers, he suggests that retailers reach out to Okanagan if they’re interested in carrying the hot new snacks.
The company also plans on ramping up a social media campaign for the summer, titled #BitzofSummer. The contest, beginning June 29th, will have participants share photos and videos of themselves enjoying ApBitz snacks on social media. The winner will receive a trip to the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.
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