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New York Apple Sales finding success with Yes! Apples

By
Keith Loria

Ever since Glenmont, NY-based New York Apple Sales launched Yes! Apples in 2019, the consumer-friendly apple brand has worked to become a force in the industry.

“Powered by over 100 years of experience, New York Apple Sales is made up of professionals that have spent years in the produce industry and have been a part of all aspects of the industry,” said Tenley Fitzgerald, vice president of marketing for the company. “What’s more, we partner with the best group of multi-generational apple growers that bring as much — or more — growing and farming expertise to their craft. The relationships that we have with our growers are paramount to providing the best-tasting apples to our retail partners and their customers.”

This past year has been challenging for everyone in the industry, but Yes! Apples worked to leverage the power of digital marketing, strong partnerships with its retailers and growers and its team’s expertise to stay successful.

“There were a lot of unforeseen elements during the past year, especially when launching a new consumer-facing brand,” Fitzgerald said. “Still, we worked with so many fantastic media partners, influencers, and brands that utilized the digital space to share our story and their fervor for our apples. We are excited and hopeful for life to open up, and look forward to introducing our apples to customers in person, connecting with new buyers and channels beyond Zoom, and sharing our passion for the best-tasting New York-grown apples.”

The company is thrilled to have Yes! Apples included as one of the only fresh brands at Pop Up Grocer’s debut in Chicago, which started on April 30 and runs through May 30.

“Pop Up Grocer is a traveling pop-up grocery store, and Yes! Apples will be one of 100-plus select brands showcased,” Fitzgerald said. “With the belief that food is an expression of who consumers are, Pop Up Grocer’s mission is to provide a space for discovery, highlighting today’s most innovative new products and their makers under one roof.”

John Cushing, senior vice president for New York Apple Sales, noted the company has imported New Zealand fruit for years, most notably Honeycrisp, SweeTango and Koru.

“This year is our first foray into organic Honeycrisp,” he said. “By developing an import program on the popular Honeycrisp, it allows us to segue from our domestic crop into imports and remain a viable year-round supplier for this important variety. The organic Honeycrisp imports strengthen our overall program and enable us to offer our customers’ demand of organic apples.”

The company is always looking for new channels to expand into, whether new brick and mortar retail partners, e-Commerce channels, or direct to consumer.

“Today, 73 percent of consumers use multiple channels throughout their shopping process, and we want to meet consumers where they are,” Fitzgerald said. “We also grow and sell several club varieties like SweeTango, KORU, and New York-exclusive SnapDragon and RubyFrost that do not have country-wide penetration. Collaborating with other shippers and opening up new sales channels will allow more consumers to access these specialty varieties.”

New York Apple Sales sells to retailers and wholesalers from Maine to Miami and everywhere in between on the East Coast.

“Our reach extends to customers in the Southwest and Midwest, as well,” Cushing said. “We even send Eastern apples to California and Arizona in the fall. Our relationships with retailers rely on honesty and accurate information. Communication and service are as important as fruit quality. While ultimately our goal is to get our fruit in the hands of consumers, we need first to sell the entire package to the retailer, allowing them to comfortably rely on us to get our fruit to their consumers.”

Apple grower Chelsea Van Acker shared that growers are excited about what the 2021 apple season has to offer.

“The majority of our orchards are just entering bloom, and we anticipate a very healthy crop of all varieties at this time,” she said.

At Yes! Apples, its passion runs deep for the apples it’s selling, the growers it’s working with, its consumers, and getting them the best-tasting, highest-quality apples, while opening as many doors for consumers to gain access to Yes! Apples.

“Not only do we provide exceptional service for our retail partners, we’re also using our marketing channels to highlight the health benefits of apples, to share out-of-the-box recipes to get consumers thinking about using apples in new ways, and to reinvigorate the consumer about apples,” Fitzgerald said. “We hear from so many consumers that they love apples and how much they love Yes! Apples and our club varieties. We want to build on this momentum and create a ripple-effect love for New York-grown apples.”

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