The Envy apple ranked No. 1 for flavor, texture, aroma and appearance, after being tested against category stalwarts like Honeycrisp, Fuji and Gala — and newcomers like Cosmic Crisp.
The sensorial results were revealed through independent research involving 142 participants, conducted by New Zealand-based FORWARD Insight & Strategy, in April in New York.
When it came to flavor, respondents preferred apples with balanced sweetness, which was a leading attribute for Envy — alongside most sweet and fruity.
Regarding texture, Envy emerged as the most crisp, firm and juicy, in addition to participants favoring the size, shape and interior flesh appearance of Envy, which naturally stays whiter longer.
“We’ve always known Envy is one of the best experiential apples, particularly its beautifully balanced sweetness,” said Gareth Edgecombe, chief executive officer of Auckland, New Zealand-based T&G Global, owner of the Envy brand. “This research independently substantiates our beliefs, and we’re thrilled consumers view Envy as the ideal eating experience.
"We are seeing strong interest from retailers, in partnering with us at the shelf, to bring this exceptional apple to their shoppers year-round,” Edgecombe said.
To complement the sensory exploration, FORWARD oversaw consumer and shopper-focused, category-wide studies in three phases: focus groups, retail-based shopper shadowing and in-home visits. The shopper results revealed low category knowledge and loyalty, with most category awareness seemingly linked to the five varietals comprising around 75 percent of category dollars and volume — Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith and Red Delicious. As these varietals often dominate category space and promotions, shoppers indicated they would try — and perhaps switch to — a better-tasting, year-round apple if they knew it existed and was consistently stocked in their grocery stores.
“Data demonstrates how apple consumers are prepared to switch to varieties offering better taste and texture, as well as consistent quality, throughout the year,” said Carlo Magni, partner and director at FORWARD. “Innovation is well received by consumers in the apple category in the USA, with high expectations of continuously improved eating experiences and consistency, alike.”
Additional Envy insights support FORWARD’s findings, including the apple’s continuous spot as the No. 2 variety in category YOY-volume and dollar gains and its 2017 and 2018 victories in the U.S. Apple Association’s “Munch Madness Championship.”
Therefore, this domestic season, T&G Global — powered by its North American sales agents Oppy, CMI Orchards and Rainier Fruit Co. — will collaborate with retailers to ensure shoppers realize Envy delivers the flavor, texture and appearance they’re seeking 365 days a year.
“As we know, research only influences when actioned. Therefore, we look forward to merchandising and promoting Envy — in the most targeted and sales driving manner for retailers — so shoppers can sort through the noise in a crowded category,” said Audrey Desnoyers, Oppy’s national business development and Seattle sales manager. “Envy is the apple they want.”