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Eastern Apple Sales predicting outstanding quality in 2011

Northeast Apple Sales, located in Newburgh, NY, continues to focus on marketing apples from the Champlain Valley and Hudson Valley regions of New York. The majority of the company’s apples are marketed throughout the northeastern United States.

“The crop is just now beginning to come in,” said Frank Tangredi, president of Northeast Apple. “We will start with Ginger Gold and Paula Red, and other varieties will follow behind.”

He said that New York apple orchards received adequate rain this summer, which has resulted in outstanding quality.

“Sizes are mixed across the board, which will serve all customers’ needs,” he said. “We expect some really nice fruit due to the good combination of moisture and sunshine. Growers had excellent crop conditions this year. We always hold our breath until the apples are in, but as of now everything looks to be in great shape.”

Mr. Tangredi added that the opening apple market should start out with decent prices that are higher than last year, which has been reflected in his early sales. He said that the news that McDonald’s will start including apple slices in every Happy Meal should help to keep prices firm.

“McDonald’s increased use will help stabilize and increase the apple markets,” he said. “They don’t use the premium-grade apples for slicing, but rather a lower end. But any time we have lower-end strong sales, prices are forced up for premium apples. Apples on the border go to processing, such as slicing, and that will shorten the extra fancy supplies at least a little. Sometimes this can strengthen our prices. Second market processing price increases enhance prices across the board.”

Although the Macintosh variety, which is strongly produced in the Champlain Valley, has been a top performer for Northeast Apple Sales in past years, Mr. Tangredi said that he is seeing a strong and growing demand for the Honey Crisp and Gala varieties.

“Ginger gold, Macoun and Jonagold varieties are also up and coming, but the Honey Crisp is the one that is leading the show today,” he said

Many other varieties are now being produced further south in the Hudson Valley, with Romas and Red Delicious varieties among them. He added that the best Macintosh apples are still produced in the Champlain Valley.

Northeast Apple’s primary customers are chain retailers, and it sells to some wholesalers. The company now offers mixed apple loads.

“We are able to mix varieties in loads today, which gives us the ability to better service our customers,” said Mr. Tangredi.