Have you ever been wandering through an apple orchard or the produce section of your grocery store and wondered why apples are different colors? If you have, today is your lucky day. We did the research so you don’t have to. Keep reading to learn why apples are different colors.

The most common apple colors are red, green, and yellow. But what gives them their different hues? This question can be answered with one word: pigments. More specifically, chlorophyll, carotenoid, and anthocyanin pigments affect the color of apple skin.


Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in many plants, including—you guessed it—green apples. So next time you grab a Granny Smith apple, tell someone you’re with what makes the skin green!

Fun Fact: Green apples have twice as much vitamin A as red apples. They also contain higher amounts of iron and vitamins B, C, E and K.


Next up is carotenoid, which we can thank for yellow apples. Interestingly, yellow apples actually start out green. As they grow, the chlorophyll they contain breaks down, leaving only the carotenoid pigments. Those pigments contribute to the yellow color we see in apples.


Finally, anthocyanin is the pigment that gives red apples their vibrant color. Like yellow apples, red apples contain chlorophyll, but eventually it breaks down. Rather than staying yellow, red apples then start producing the pigment anthocyanin.

Want to learn even more about apples? Check out these interesting apple facts.

Did You Know?

So far, we have touched on what makes apples different colors, but we have specifically been focusing on apple skin. Did you know that some apples have pink or reddish flesh? This happens when an apple contains more anthocyanin. A few apple varieties in the US with red or pink flesh are Pink Pearl, Thornberry, Hidden Rose, and Scarlett Surprise.

Eat the Rainbow

Apples are not the only fruit that come in different colors. Grapes and watermelon do, too. If we look at vegetables, peppers, corn, cauliflower, tomatoes, and more come in a wide variety of colors. Keep your eyes open at your local grocery store or farmers market, and you might find a colorful fruit you haven’t tried before.

What color apple is your favorite? Depending on the season, you can find red, yellow, and green apples at our apple orchards. If you haven’t visited Robinette’s yet, stop by soon! Our U-pick apple season is starting soon, and we would love to meet you! Learn more about our orchard in Grand Rapids.