Crunch Time Apple Growers' Jessica Wells Talks Expanding SnapDragon and RubyFrost Demand

Crunch Time Apple Growers' Jessica Wells Talks Expanding SnapDragon and RubyFrost Demand

Sponsored Message
Learn More

LOCKPORT, NY - No sooner does a season end than plans must be laid for the next one, especially when demand is gaining steam. With increased awareness efforts expanding SnapDragon and RubyFrost reach, Crunch Time Apple Growers reports early action for buyers will make for a well-rounded apple program.

Jessica Wells, Executive Director, Crunch Time Apple Growers“SnapDragon and RubyFrost are very complementary apples. SnapDragon appeals to the masses with its crisp texture, sweet-with-a-bit-of-a-snap flavor, and incredible juiciness. RubyFrost has a bit of a narrower audience, appealing to those who like something a little less sweet with a strong apple flavor that can be used for fresh eating, baking and cooking,” Jessica Wells, Executive Director, shared. “Customers want to come back and buy them again and again, which is only possible if the apples are available, so retailers should stock them for as long as possible to bolster sales. Give shoppers the opportunity to become repeat buyers.”

In fact, she said, the vast majority of current SnapDragon retailers keep them on the shelves all season long. Understandable considering the variety sold out for this season; shippers and retailers are planning with care to stretch availability to as late as the end of May to maximize sales.

Snappy looks on as Jessica Wells, Executive Director of Crunch Time and Brett Baker, President of United Apple Sales, slice apples for sampling at the Micah Hyde softball game

Sales volume was up 30 percent with the 2022 crop and we expect the crop size this season to be about the same as the last. We would encourage retailers to reach out to our sales partners sooner rather than later to ensure getting the volume they need for the season. There was some frost during blossom that could reduce volume or quality a touch. It’s a little too early to tell definitively, but we are hopeful and excited about the coming season,” Jessica said.

Crunch Time Executive Director Jessica Wells stands with other sponsors and celebrity golfers at the Andre Reed Celebrity Golf Tournament held in San Diego on May 22

That excitement has been compounded by the active sponsorships and marketing team-ups Crunch Time has forged to get SnapDragon and RubyFrost apples into the hands of consumers that have not yet had a taste of either. Partnerships like one with the Buffalo Bills and sponsoring events like the APP Tour New York City Open pickleball tournament are a couple of ways each variety has had exposure to new audiences, particularly ones not eating apples outside of autumn.

Michelle Rodriguez of Crist Bros, Samuel White of Crunch Time and Elvis Rodriguez of Crist Bros man the RubyFrost tent at the NYC Open

“There are a lot of people who don’t eat apples regularly and call McIntosh or Cortland their favorite as a result of being able to get them fresh off the trees. However, the fruit isn’t the same when consumers buy them again in a grocery store, so they don’t buy apples until the following year,” Jessica remarked. “Through Bills events, we have gotten SnapDragon apples into the hands of some of these consumers and they are hooked by the flavor, juiciness, and crunch. Sales of SnapDragon in the Buffalo area were up almost 60 percent this season!”

Whether they are a lighter and flavorful alternative to concession food or shining red in the produce department, both varieties are certainly carving out a space in branded apple offerings.

Crunch Time Apple Growers

Companies in this Story

Crunch Time Apple Growers

Years ago, we had a big idea: to put our heads together with some of the best agricultural minds in New York State and…