Chelan Fresh's Mac Riggan Talks Apple Harvest for Fall
CHELAN, WA - With fall already upon us, the apple segment is gearing up for a season flush with high-quality varieties, and heightened consumer demand with apple-focused menus. With good moveable volumes of fruit, where does the market currently sit?
As Mac Riggan, Director of Marketing at Chelan Fresh, recently told me, the company is right in the heat of its harvest with high volumes and great quality, with good demand expected throughout the season.
“Our quality is sound this year, with larger fruit size. When we follow a good quality cherry crop with good weather, we generally follow with a good apple year too,” Mac tells me of the company’s current offerings, detailing that Chelan Fresh expects its crop to store well thus providing good export capabilities.
Mac says that every apple variety that Chelan Fresh grows is under harvest, including Fuji’s. Although the company is a little bit later in its harvest than the rest of the industry, it is still two weeks earlier than last year.
“Our volume is slightly up over last year, but manageable due to the quality of the crop,” Mac divulges. “The industry is expecting close to 133 million boxes of apples, which is higher than last year.”
The market should remain steady throughout the season. Reds and goldens are currently priced a bit higher than last year, with Gala priced lower, and Granny and Fuji varieties priced about the same. Mac tells me that Chelan Fresh has planned promotions to carry the company into consumer’s baskets through December.
Paired with high demand for apples, and good volumes of fruit already moving, Mac says that the company is optimistic in its projections for domestic and international demand for this year’s crop.
Chelan Fresh is also looking forward to marketing its exclusive varieties this season.
“We’re planning to pack 7,000 cases of our exclusive Rockit™ apple, in its second domestic crop,” Mac continues. “We’re also sending our new and exclusive SugarBee™ apple to select retailers as we’re expecting 8,000 cases this year. Chelan Fresh is ramping up production next year for this variety, as well.”
Chelan Fresh expects to finish harvesting this year with Pink Lady’s a little before Halloween.