Diane Miller, a Ohio State University apple geneticist and researcher, is a special adviser to the group.
In 2008, she and her team received a North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant to determine whether consumers would select apples based on labeling of fruit characteristics, production methods and/or growing areas, according to an SARE newsletter.
“The rationale for the project was that consumer demand must pull apples through the marketing streams based upon quality,” Miller said in the newsletter. “This inverts the current system which attempts to push apples through the markets based upon the ability of growers to produce them.”
During the four-year project, nearly 40 selections were evaluated at several events.
The decision to release EverCrisp can partly be attributed to consumer taste panels that rated it generally higher than Fuji and Cameo. They also rated it equivalent to Honeycrisp and SweeTango.
The association describes the variety as a sweet, crispy apple that's grower friendly with long storability.
Mitch Lynd, an Ohio grower and association co-founder, describes EverCrisp as looking and tasting a lot like Fuji but crispier.
It's actually a cross between a Fuji and Honeycrisp.