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Believe it or not, there are an estimated 7,000 apple varieties. And most of us know our favorites by name, because the apple has become the brand product of the planet.
USA TODAY

In essence, the Americans have changed – at least as far as their apple preferences are concerned.

The Red Delicious The apple is likely to lose its title as the most popular apple this year, a perch that it has held for over half a century.

The US Apple Association predicts that the gala apple will supplant the Red Delicious for the top spot. 19659008] The group, acting on behalf of 7,500 apple growers and 400 apple businesses, predicted that the US would grow 52.4 million gala apples in 2018, an increase of 5.9 percent over the previous year.

Red Delicious's apple production is expected to fall 10.7 percent to 51.7 million.

Consumers apparently like the "taste, texture, and sweetness" of the gala, the US Apple Association said in a statement.

"The increase in the production of newer varieties of apples aimed at the fresh consumption domestic brand et has reduced the demand for Red Delicious," said Mark Seetin, the director of the Association for Regulatory and Industrial Affairs.

The Granny Smith, Fuji and Honeycrisp apples are expected to be in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

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The Honeycrisp is growing in popularity and production is increasing by 21.8 percent to 23.5 million this year. This is the first time that the Golden Delicious apple has arrived.

The association has predicted that "Honeycrisp" will finish Granny Smith and Fuji third in a year or two.

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The Honeycrisp, created by the University of Minnesota's Apple Breeding Program, only debuted 21 years ago. It typically costs more than its competitors.

Until the 1970s, Americans had few apples to choose from. While Golden Delicious offered a color contrast and Granny Smith tarted on the table, the iconic Red Delicious was the star heavily promoted by US prosecutors, Virginia-based apple historian Tom Burford told USA TODAY last year. Then wholesalers began to look for tastier varieties, finding them overseas in Japan, home of Fuji, and New Zealand having the Braeburn and Gala.

Despite some encouraging trends, it was an acidic year for the apple business in general.

In fact, Mark Boyer, president of the US Apple Association, told the group's Crop Outlook and Marketing conference last week that it's "one of the most challenging and unusual years in the 123-year history." been in the group.

After President Donald Trump started a trade battle, retaliatory tariffs on foreign markets weighed on the US apple business, the association said. China z. B. hit a 15-percent-inch on American apples.

Contribution: Zlati Meyer

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @ NathanBomey .

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