There’s no rest in the premium apple development business, it seems. Just a few weeks after debuting the First Kiss® MN 55 apple and two buzz generating, in-development, new varietals at PMA Fresh Summit, Honeybear Brands is readying it’s largest ever introduction of retail star Pazazz. The first North American markets will begin receiving Pazazz as soon as the beginning of December.
“We came out of a very busy PMA and just didn’t stop,” says Don Roper, vice president, sales and marketing, Honeybear Brands. “The show was about giving our buyers a sneak peek at some future star varietals we have in development, but it’s also now go time for Pazazz and we’re expecting really big things for our retailers this season. Hands down, across the board, the quality, color and overall eating experience of Pazazz has never been better than what we’ve seen coming out of every one of our orchards.”
Pazazz will launch in select markets as soon as the beginning of December and in more than 60 other retail geographies across North America in January 2019 with more retail locations than any other year. This coming season will also see Honeybear launch an integrated marketing campaign featuring digital advertising to premium apple consumers as well as social media marketing, an initiative with a network of top food influencers across the country and select sponsored events.
In addition to launching Pazazz, Honeybear is hard at work on fine tuning two latter-stage developmental varieties that created attendee buzz at PMA. Each could give an indication of what trends are coming to the retail apple deck in the near future. The first, a red flesh apple, when bitten or cut open reveals a highly attractive and totally surprising red blush inside. The red peel of the apple bleeds into the flesh around a striking red cream center. The second varietal, a glowing yellow apple, delivers a totally unique, almost tropical flavor and a completely unexpected firm texture, which maintains many months after harvest. Both will stand out at retail, according to Roper.
“We have two potentially trend setting new varieties that break really interesting ground, either in terms of unique flesh color or more tropical flavor profiles and winning textures,” says Roper “Both generated a lot of buzz and widespread interest from buyers at PMA. There’s still work to be done in terms ensuring the apples store well and that they retain their distinct flavor, texture and color throughout the production and storage process. But we also know they could become high-value differentiators for our retail partners in the very near future.”
“Colored flesh is a growing trend but this apple is making its way to the finish line and has enormous visual appeal for consumers and retailers, as well as an undeniable great flavor. The other is going to be a star once it launches. We don’t see any other premium variety in the market today that looks or tastes the way this does. The bright yellow on deck adds a real pop of vibrant color, but the best part is that this apple can actually handle the rigors of retail, as it has such strong pressures and presence on the deck. All in all, it’s a far better eating apple than the Golden Delicious with a fantastic blend of tropical nutty flavors.”
Honeybear is also at work on the phased introduction of significant organic production in both northern and southern hemisphere orchards. Although early days, the company’s goal is to fully transition approximately 25 percent of current growing acreage to organic production within the next three years and plans are underway with growing partners to establish a timeline and detailed process. Organic production zones will be introduced into Honeybear’s busy Washington, New York, Nova Scotia and Chilean orchards. In all Honeybear orchards, apple varieties will continue to be grown according to strict environmental and sustainability standards and protocols.
“Every Honeybear variety is grown with a great deal of care organic or otherwise,” says Don Roper, vice president sales and marketing, Honeybear Brands. “We’re already dedicated to sustainable growing, protection of natural habitats for orchard wildlife as well as best-in-class environmental stewardship of the land, but there’s a growing demand from consumers for organics – so we’re not going to ignore that.
For more information on Pazazz, First Kiss or other Honeybear Brands varieties visit www.honeybearbrands.com or follow the company on social media.