The New Royal Bluff Orchards compete with apple growers in Washington State and other U.S. states, as well as with certain international growers within the context of the worldwide market. In addition, Royal Bluff competes with soft fruit, exotic fruit, and citrus fruit for consumers’ spending dollars in the fresh fruit section of the grocery store.
Royal Bluff has distinct competitive advantages over the vast majority of other growers, including:
- Consistently high quality of fruit
- Strategic mix of organic and conventionally grown fruit
- Experienced and competent management team
- Highly trained and motivated work force
- Excellent location of orchard properties
- Strategic alliance with a well-established packinghouse
Competition within Washington State The potential competition from new orchard acreage in Washington is not a serious threat due to several factors: limited availability of arable land with good growing climate for apples; limited availability of new water rights for irrigation on such land; and the time and expense required to develop new orchards.
Competition from Other States Washington State produces approximately 70% of the fresh apple crop in the United States, with notable competition from New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Apples produced in all other states do not compete well with the high quality fresh fruit that is grown (and stored virtually year-round) in Washington.
Competition from Other Countries After China (48%), the U.S. is the No. 2 producer of apples in the world (6%), with India, Turkey, and Poland rounding out the top five (with about 4% each). None of the other top five world apple producers present a significant competitive threat to the Washington State apple market. The growers in each of those producing countries are focused on fulfilling domestic and nearby regional demand, and the cost of overseas shipping limits competition on price.
Apple growers in the Southern Hemisphere (notably Chile and New Zealand) fill the slack in the supply in those years that Washington has a smaller crop. However, those same years are actually more profitable for Washington growers in terms of price per box. In other years, Southern Hemisphere growers cannot compete on price due to the higher shipping costs to North American markets.
Competition for Consumer Spending The market for fresh apples in the United States is very mature and stable. As previously stated, apples are the No. 2 commodity in the produce section of grocery stores in terms of both sales volume and profit margin. Apples have a unique and dominant position in the minds of consumers in terms of variety, taste, visual appeal, storage, portability, tradition, and multiple culinary uses.