Eastern U.S. market potential for Florida subtropical peaches

Les Harrison, Evelyn Harrison, Jose Chaparro, Jeffrey Williamson

Abstract


The objective of this study was to measure potential consumer acceptance of subtropical peaches developed by the University of Florida and to estimate their market potential. Survey questionnaires and interviews were used to develop an estimate of the market potential and acreage required to satisfy latent demand. Randomly selected individuals were interviewed about their preferences for fruit in general and peaches in particular, and provided samples for evaluation. Test sites were Atlanta, GA; Richmond, VA; Albany, NY; Lansing, MI; and Indianapolis, IN. The USDA–Federal State Market Improvement Program (FSMIP) grant funded the research. The results suggest that there is potential for an economically viable peach industry in Florida based on the subtropical peach cultivars developed by the stone fruit breeding program at the University of Florida. Acceptance testing indicated 54% of the respondents wanted Florida peaches several times a week. An additional 16% of respondents wanted Florida peaches “once or twice a month.” There are over 1.7 million potential consumers in the fi ve cities where the research was conducted. To satisfy the expressed demand would take between 575 and 775 acres of Florida peaches. Producers have an opportunity to a market window (April and early May) when no other peaches are available in the western hemisphere.


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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283