Apple Culture

A Baker’s Dozen of New Apple Varieties

Breeze. Aromatic, sweet and very crisp, this New Zealand-originated variety has a solid pink-red blush over a yellow background. “Our first commercial volume of Washington grown Breeze apples will be available as of August, and we’re looking at around 40,000 boxes,” says Chuck Sinks, president of sales and marketing for Sage Fruit Company in Yakima, WA.

Cosmic Crisp. A cross between Honeycrisp and Enterprise, this large, juicy, crisp-textured apple has been widely planted in Washington, says Mac Riggan, marketing director for Chelan Fresh Marketing in Chelan, WA. “We’ll have about 25 bins this season and promotional volume in the next two years.”

Juici. Sweet-tart in flavor and crunchy in texture, this Honeycrisp-Braeburn cross is expected to reach production of 500,000 boxes in the next five years, says Scott Marboe, director of marketing for Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers in Wenatchee, WA.

Koru. The first U.S. plantings of this sweet New Zealand variety, whose parents are Fuji and Braeburn, will be available in limited supplies this fall, according to Oneonta’s Marboe. Domestic production is expected to reach 1 million boxes in the next three years.

Opal. This yellow-skinned cross between Golden Delicious and Topaz is in its fifth year of marketing and expected to hit 1 million cases this season. It is currently available from mid-October to mid-June, but is expected year-round within the next two years. “The Opal may replace the Golden Delicious,” says Chuck Zeutenhorst, general manager for FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, Prescott, WA.

Pazazz. First introduced five years ago, this Honeycrisp offspring is grown in Washington, Minnesota, New York and Nova Scotia, Canada, and offers great storability. “We expect more than a quarter-million cases this year, a half-million next year with a target for us at 2 million cases,” says Don Roper, vice president and director of sales and marketing for Honeybear Marketing, a subsidiary of Wescott Agri Products in Elgin, MN.

Rave. A July harvest makes this University of Minnesota cross between a Honeycrisp and MonArk the first to harvest in Washington. “Super early for back-to-school promotions and very juicy is the marketing niche,” says Roger Pepperl, director of marketing for Wenatchee, WA-based Stemilt Growers, which expects to have more than 80,000 cartons of Rave apples next season.

RiverBelle. Released on a regional basis to fill the late August, early September marketing window in the Midwest, according to Honeybear’s Roper, this Wisconsin-developed crisp, juicy bi-color apple boasts Honeycrisp parentage.

RubyFrost. Previously known as New York 2, this Cornell University variety harvests in October and is in its second year of commercial marketing. Attributes include non-browning, large size, burgundy color and firm texture suitable to last in cold storage, according to Rena Montedoro, director of marketing for Crunch Time Apple Growers in Wolcott, NY, a cooperative of 145 growers in the state that grow this variety and SnapDragon, another Cornell variety.

SnapDragon. This crunchy apple developed at Cornell University and previously called New York 1, harvests in late September and peaks on size 88s and 100s. “This is our third year of commercial production and the crop is growing exponentially,” says Montedoro.

SugarBee. A cross between Honeycrisp and an unknown variety, this sweet crispy red-skinned variety packs well, stores well and is large-sized, according to Chelan Fresh’s Riggan. “We expect 14,000 boxes this year with greater supplies within the next two years.”

Sweet Cheeks. A proprietary variety to the Hess Bros. Fruit Co in Leola, PA, this Honeycrisp-Pink Lady cross is extremely crunchy with a balanced sweet-tart profile, according to Andy Figart, sales manager. The company is starting with a small volume; commercial availability will be January 2018.

Sweetie. A cross between Gala and Braeburn, FirstFruits Marketing’s Zeutenhorst forecasts 100,000 to 125,000 cases this year, available from early September to December. Organic will be available in the future, he says.