Fresh Food

It’s apple season: What to know about New York apple varieties

Apples in bags
Photograph courtesy of the New York Apple Association

Crisp. Sweet. Juicy. It's apple harvest season in New York State and 600 apple growers are busy hand-picking the apples and getting them ready for the market.  The family orchards range from a few acres to several, and all of them are uniquely suited to their respective microclimates. New York is famous for having rich glacial soil, warm sunny days and chilly fall nights that bring out the best flavor of apples.

Proud of their neighboring Cornell Apple Breeding Program, New York State has released more than 69 apple varieties since 1880, most recently SnapDragon® and RubyFrost®—two varieties that have enjoyed immense success on retail shelves. Consumers enjoy the many apple varieties New York offers, from classic varieties like McIntosh, Gala, Empire, Zestar! ®, Honeycrisp and newer varieties like Evercrisp®, New York-grown Sweetango® and many others. There's something for everyone in New York State.

New York apple growers are dedicated to growing the highest quality fruit and maintaining ideal growing conditions in their orchards. To do so, they rely on a comprehensive system called Integrated Pest Management. New York's early adoption of new IPM strategies sets them apart within the industry and allows them to practice methods in ways that make sense strategically and economically. New York growers prioritize environmental stewardship, reducing food miles, and sustaining family farm legacies.

New York apple orchards are multi-generational; many go back as far as six generations. The close-knit network of apple growers, packing houses and shippers work collaboratively to harvest and sell each season's crop. When the last apples are harvested from trees in the fall, the New York apple story begins.

The consumer wants to know where their food comes from, and the New York Apple Association is bringing the growers to them virtually by sharing grower stories that put faces to the New York apple-growing community through its online channels. The Association’s geotargeting social media program inspires repeat purchases with apple-centric social media posts focusing on flavor, nutrition, and recipes and partners with retailers throughout the country.

Other marketing services include cooperative advertising, digital and in-store coupons, customer point-of-sale, and in-store merchandising resources like high-graphic display shippers and tri-wall orchard bins.

A new website includes an expanded section for foodservice, retail, and wholesale partners. Now available are downloadable recipes and how-to-cooking videos, a series of 12 grower-featured videos, and materials highlighting flavorful varieties and the beauty of New York's orchards, all in convenient formats for turnkey use.  The website includes over 200 apple recipes like desserts, entrees, beverages, bread, soups and salads, with  new recipes added each month. A section is also dedicated to describing the different apple varieties and their flavor characteristics, ranging from sweet to tart. 

New Apples From New York™'s packaging and the distinct packaging of individual New York shippers are perfect for colorful bagged displays. Kick-off the harvest season with high-graphic paper and poly tote bags, pouches and classic poly bags.  This year, many of the New York apple shippers are making available sustainable paper totes.

Two recently produced commercials for the fall and winter season are available at 30-, 15- and 6-second lengths. Produce professionals can connect with our marketing team for input on utilizing this commercial online and in-store.

For apple merchandising and marketing resource ideas, contact one of the Apples from New York  account managers at (585) 924-2171 or use the foodservice and retail section located at   

This post is sponsored by New York Apple Association