UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Seminar Presents Company’s Novel Approach to Marketing Nonbrowning Arctic® Apples as GM Foods that Benefit Consumers

April 16, 2019

Jennifer Armen recently presented a seminar in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) Library about her role in driving the business strategy to market the nonbrowning Arctic® apple varieties of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF).

These apples are genetically modified (GM) using an apple’s own genes to turn off the genes that make apples turn brown when bruised or cut, according to www.arcticapples.com. These GM apples received commercial approval in Canada and the United States. Freshly sliced Arctic® apples are available at select U.S. retailers and Arctic ApBitz® dried apple snacks—samples of which Armen passed out during her talk—are available on Amazon and at retail.

“OSF has a novel product and an interesting approach to GM foods,” ARE faculty member Kristin Kiesel said about why she invited Armen to present the seminar and to speak to students in her ARE136 Managerial Marketing class. “They’re doing GMOs, and marketing it as a benefit to consumers that reduces food waste and increases consumption of fruits. Even if they are critical of GM foods, very few people refuse to try their samples; and once they do, they like them.”

To a diverse seminar audience of graduate students and faculty from various UC Davis departments, Armen spoke about the history of OSF, as well as challenges and successes.

“The talk was very informative and Jennifer shared her personal insights,” Kiesel said. “She is a great speaker.”

“It was an absolute pleasure to speak at UC Davis and we are grateful for the opportunity to share the story of Arctic® apples,” Armen said. “There is a lot of misinformation surrounding biotech foods and seminars like this give us the ability to answer questions firsthand. Education has been an important initiative for us here at OSF and will continue to be.”


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