Once again, families all over the country are talking about apple picking season! One of the activities that shouts, “Americana!” This annual trip many families take to pick apples coincides with the start of fall when it’s too early for pumpkins, and well past watermelon season. If you’ve never plucked an apple off a tree and bit into it, it’s a delicious way to learn how our food requires multiple steps before we check out in a grocery store.
The apple market is dominated by five main varieties: Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp (previously this spot was dominated by Golden Delicious). Though apples are grown in 32 states, the main apples grown for export come from Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and California – with Washington supplying 90% of all exports. One of the most popular export fruit in the country, one out of every three apples grown in the U.S. is exported. Most imported apples arrive on our shores during the offseason as the appetite for apples knows no calendar restrictions.
The U.S. isn’t the only place where apples are grown; in reality, humans have been eating apples for around 750,000 years around the world. Grown on almost every continent thanks to advancements in technology that allow tropical nations to have cooler conditions available for this fruit, we can’t confirm there isn’t an apple tree somewhere very well insulated on Antarctica. But despite the weather conditions, apples are a worldwide favorite and Washington grows them upright.
The apple harvests are coming back after a difficult year in every industry. 2021 indicates the analysts are expecting approximately the U.S. apple harvest to surpass 265 million bushels by the end of the season (which equals more than 10 billion pounds). Apples need very particular growing conditions from their beginnings in the fields in Washington state to the grocery shelves at exotic destinations. During shipping to ensure they don’t reach peak freshness before they settle on shelves the container temperature and vent openings are critical. Enhancing stability, shelf-life, and making sure consumers have a choice of the freshest apples possible is the core of CFI’s passion. As the world slowly opens back up after the pandemic, we expect the apple boom to return year after year, blossoming into a critical export for perishables shippers who understand this hardy fruit. If you want to know how CFI can compare to others, we invite you to contact your representative and compare our apples to their apples.