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This Apple Finally Dethroned Red Delicious

Gala to be most popular apple in US in 2018
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2018 10:53 AM CDT
Red Delicious Is No Longer Most Popular Apple in US
Freshly picked Gala apples fill a bin at Marker-Miller Orchards near Winchester, Va., in 2014.   (AP Photo/The Winchester Star, Jeff Taylor)

For at least five decades, the Red Delicious was the most popular apple in the US, dominating grocery selection. But no longer: This year, US growers are projected to produce 51.7 million boxes of Red Delicious apples and 52.4 million boxes of Gala apples, thus giving Galas the top spot for the first time. (A box weighs 42 pounds.) Gala production will be up 5.8% from last year while Red Delicious production will be down 11%, according to estimates from the US Apple Association. Red Delicious apples are known for being easy to transport, but as Bloomberg explains, apples are increasingly being consumed fresh, and sweeter varieties are becoming more popular—a trend also evidenced by the rise of the Honeycrisp, which is expected to bump Golden Delicious and enter the top five for the first time this year:

  1. Gala
  2. Red Delicious
  3. Granny Smith
  4. Fuji
  5. Honeycrisp
  6. Golden Delicious
If the current trend continues, Honeycrisp could be in the No. 3 spot by 2020. As for that No. 1 spot, "The rise in production of newer varieties of apples aimed at the fresh consumption domestic market has caused demand for Red Delicious to decline," an industry exec says in a press release. "However, Red Delicious is important in the export market, where it makes up roughly half of our apple exports." (More lists stories.)

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