U.S.: NZ apple variety takes off in Washington State

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U.S.: NZ apple variety takes off in Washington State

A New Zealand-developed apple that ripens slightly before Gala has been grown by Washington State farmers and is set to hit U.S. supermarket shelves this month.

The Sweetie variety is grown by Broetje Orchards and will be sold by FirstFruits Marketing, which highlights the fruit's intensely sweet flavor and crunchiness.

The variety first entered the region with a 30-acre test block in Prescott, Washington, and over the last two years additional blocks have been planted as trees have yielded good quality fruit and the consumer response has been positive.

"We are always looking for new varieties that will resonate with consumers to bring to our customers. After our huge success with Opal® we knew we would have to follow with something great, and I think we have found it in Sweetie™," FirstFruits marketing manager Andy Tudor said in a release.

"Launching a new variety is a very complex process. The fruit needs to be grower friendly, have a good shelf life and appearance, and have some kind of unique quality to get people to try it. Sweetie™ has all of those characteristics and I believe we have a winner once again."

The variety has its own PLU #3628 and will be featured in the new product showcase at the Fresh Summit Convention and Expo in October.


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