Ambrosia apple sales rise in 2020

For the Basin Business Journal | March 24, 2021 1:00 AM

WENATCHEE – Ambrosia apples are selling well across the United States, especially in the Southeast, according to CMI Orchards.

According to national survey company Nielsen Answers on Demand, in 2021 through Jan. 2, 2021, Ambrosia held the top sales position in many states — Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia and Kentucky — accounting for 24.7% of all branded apple sales. This represents a growth of 4.3%, according to CMI Orchards.

Ambrosia held the second-highest position in the Midwest, third in the Northwest, and fifth in the Western United States.

CMI Orchards grows six of the best-selling branded apples in each region and is the largest grower of Ambrosia apples in the U.S.A., branding the popular apple as “Ambrosia Gold: The Gold Standard of Ambrosia Apples.”

“These sales numbers provide a feel for which varieties are preferred in different regions,” said CMI Orchards Marketing Specialist Danelle Huber. “Sales and apple usage are often tied to a region’s culture, food preferences, health characteristics and cooking styles.”

CMI Orchards held the exclusive growing rights for Ambrosia apples for more than a decade, and once the varietal opened up in 2017, CMI established Ambrosia Gold as a recognizable mark of quality differentiation.

“Growing Ambrosia apples is a very defined art and very strict guidelines must be followed for harvesting Ambrosia at the exact optimal time to ensure that the apples have the amazing flavor and texture consumers have come to know and love,” said CMI Orchards President Bob Mast. “Since CMI has so few growers growing Ambrosia Gold, we are able to closely monitor quality and enforce the strict guidelines and protocols.”

Mast said with the opening of Ambrosia planting to all growers, those other Ambrosia apples vary in quality and taste as they enter the market.

“Consumers are beginning to see a notable difference in the quality and consistency of fruit available on retail shelves and now actually ask for Ambrosia Gold specifically by name,” Mast said.

Wenatchee-based CMI Orchards is one of the largest growers, packers, and shippers of premium Washington state apples, pears, and cherries.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at