Category Partners Survey Reveals Strong Initial Response to Cosmic Crisp
IDAHO FALLS, ID - Cosmic Crisp is one name in the apple category that never seems to fall quiet in the market. In the first months of its introduction, the variety generated solid sales at retail. According to Nielsen, for the last quarter of 2019, Cosmic Crisp was in the top 15 volume-driving varieties. A consumer survey completed by Category Partners indicates the apple also scored high with at least one segment of shoppers.
Steve Lutz, Senior Vice President for Insights and Innovation at Category Partners, stated that the organization wanted to get an initial reaction to Cosmic Crisp from consumers. The company developed and launched a targeted consumer survey to assess how some buyers reacted after buying the new apple.
“Cosmic Crisp has been an aggressive new product introduction given the advance publicity generated within the produce industry,” said Lutz. “There have been years of publicity leading up to this introduction, so we thought it would be interesting to get an initial glimpse into consumer reaction. When you’ve got a new product that only a few people can buy, identifying and surveying this narrow slice of consumers who have actually tried the product is very difficult. Cosmic Crisp is early in its market development, so the user-base of consumers is small, making it challenging to apply a traditional, random survey methodology.”
To work around this issue and identify Cosmic Crisp consumers, Category Partners recruited participants from a social media site with a wide following among alumni of Washington State University, according to a press release. Since Cosmic Crisp originated with the university, it was believed these individuals might be more likely to seek it out when it appeared on store shelves and be willing to share their feedback.
“I think I would sleep a little better if I were a Cosmic Crisp grower after seeing these results,” said Lutz. “Millions have been invested in planting thousands of acres of Cosmic Crisp with a hope shoppers will like it and buy it. So far, this early measure from consumers is certainly encouraging.”
Cara Ammon, Senior Vice President of Research and Market Intel at Category Partners who designed the study, said among this particular group of consumers, the results indicate strong overall satisfaction and intent to re-purchase Cosmic Crisp.
"Consumer satisfaction with Cosmic Crisp among this select group of consumers appears excellent,” said Ammon. However, she cautioned that the results should not be viewed as a definitive evaluation. She notes that the research was conducted among self-identified Cosmic Crisp consumers versus a more traditional random survey across all apple buyers.
Ammon continued, “86 percent of these survey respondents stated they were completely satisfied with Cosmic Crisp. 74 percent of respondents indicate they intend to buy Cosmic Crisp again in the future. Even assuming implied favoritism among the respondent base, those are strong numbers.”
In terms of attributes, the study showed these consumers scored Cosmic Crisp high in texture, crunch, flavor, and non-browning characteristics.
“The positive response to Cosmic Crisp from the 460 consumers who participated in the survey must be evaluated in context with the potential for bias that is inherent in the respondent base,” said Ammon. “Bottom line, while this is not a tool to project the results to the broader population, the feedback we received from these respondents can be seen as very encouraging.”
Ammon noted that there was one area of concern expressed by consumers, “57 percent of consumers said they felt Cosmic Crisp was more expensive than expected. That’s a bit of a surprise, but we also know that more than half of the Cosmic Crisp buyers say they paid more than $2.50 per pound.”
Start placing those Cosmic Crisp orders, folks! And follow along with us at ANUK as we bring you the latest news in fresh produce.