According to EastFruit analysts, a very unexpected trend can be observed in the Indian apple market in 2021 – local consumers, who have always loved red apple varieties, suddenly started buying green and yellow apples. This confuses importers and suppliers, who are forced to promptly change apple supply plans.
EastFruit analysts tried to understand the reasons for these trends, whether they will be long-term and which suppliers will be most affected.
First of all, why do Indians traditionally prefer red apples? EastFruits wrote about this and other interesting aspects of the country’s apple market in their article “Unexpected facts and typical misconceptions about the Indian apple market from EastFruit“.
Contrary to the popular opinion that red apple varieties are better sold in India because of their bright colour, the true reason for the preference lies in the fact that Indians prefer sweet fruits.
Therefore, they believe that green and yellow apples cannot be as sweet as red ones. However, rather sweet golden delicious spoils very quickly in a temperate climate in India, because apples are sold there without refrigeration. As a result, Golden Delicious becomes crumbly and less juicy, and consumers do not like it.
Red Delicious apples were in great demand in India for many years, and the United States exported large volumes to India.
Nevertheless, local importers were ready to import other red varieties at good prices as well. In addition, importers from India have recently switched to better tasting red apple varieties such as Gala, Crisp Pink, Red Prince and others. Nonetheless, they were still red, sweet apples.
Why did consumers suddenly become interested in green varieties and, to a lesser extent, yellow varieties of apples? There are several reasons.
As Indian fruit market players have explained to us, the main reason is the belief of a higher vitamin C content in green apples.
As vitamin C is prescribed for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, consumers began to consider such apples healthier.
The second reason is of a similar nature. People in India are now paying attention to their health, and those who are overweight are trying to reduce their weight.
Accordingly, the information that red apples contain significantly more fructose, i.e. carbohydrates than green ones, have a significant influence on purchasing decisions in favor of green apple varieties.
The third reason is a common myth that producing green and yellow apples requires fewer mineral fertilizers and plant protection chemicals than producing red apples.
Accordingly, consumers believe that green apple varieties are healthier, which is important in the context of the massive spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The origin of this myth is unknown, but it has a serious impact on consumers and their preferences.
Thus, the demand for Granny Smith varieties and green apples of Golden Delicious varieties with a harder texture has increased among the apple importers in India.
However, it is not easy to forecast how the preferences for apple varieties among Indian consumers will change.
According to EastFruit, the demand for green apple varieties in India has not yet reached its peak, so it is likely to continue to grow and the demand for red varieties will decrease accordingly.
In the future, the situation is likely to recover, as the taste preferences of consumers are not so easy to change.
However, the share of green apples in the Indian market will still significantly increase in the long term compared to what it was before the Covid 19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, red varieties are likely to continue to dominate the structure of apple imports to India.