Crab Apples does not refer to a specific species. It’s a reference to size as wild apples are usually small. Thus, they look like miniature apples and share the common ancestry as with the ordinary apples. Their colors vary from red to orange to yellow. There are many types of Crab Apple trees, hundreds of hybrid. And the taste varies across the whole line of hybrids. Crab Apple taste varies from tart to very tart. And they can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Mostly, Crab Apples are cooked by adding sugar to minimize the tartness by the consumers. Crab Apples do not contain enough sugar to be fermented into Alcohol. Crab Apples are sour but they aren’t poisonous. Like regular apples, their seeds do not contain toxins.
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Flowering Crab Apple trees are attractive in gardens and bloom in pretty white and purple flowers. Thus, they makes them as a useful ornamental species too.
Demand for Crab Apple mainly comes from food & beverage industry. Rising Ready-To-Eat market is fueling the growth for crab apple due to presence of its products such as jams, jellies, juices and sauces. Also its healing & cleansing properties, is grabbing the market attention. Applicable to physical and psychological conditions, whenever there is repellant to self the remedy of Crab Apple restores a sense of proportion. Due to changing lifestyle patterns & even in making recipes like puddings and apple pie fillings, the consumers are using crab apple as an ingredient and relishing new dishes. Also, the high pectin content in Crab Apple is increasing the market as it is good for its roughage properties and medicinal use.
Crab Apple has a very tart taste and is not accepted by majority in consuming it raw like other sweet ordinary apples. Thus, further processing is required to make it more palatable.
Crab Apples are popular as compact ornamental trees, providing blossom in spring and fruit in autumn. The fruit almost persist throughout autumn. They are native to the temperate zone of Northern Hemisphere including Kazakhstan, China & Russia. Crab Apples also inhabit the temperate regions of North America. North American have sour crab apple varieties whereas, Central Asians have larger and much sweet varieties. The crab apple is gaining popularity mostly in European and North American market. The Asian Crab Apple market is expected to increase with significant value CAGR over the forecast period, owing to increasing demand for crab apple and its product in near future.
Major players in the Crab Apple Market segment are Wilkin & Sons Ltd., Cuisinescene NZ, Al’s Backwoods Berrie Co., Healing Herbs – Bach flower essences, Blue ridge jams, Pepplers Handmade Goodness, Genestra Brands are amongst to name a few.