Supplies are limited, but Washington-grown Kanzi brand apples are hitting retailers’ shelves on schedule, and within five years growers expect to be able to ship half a million cartons annually.
Tim Welsh, who oversees the North American planting operations that produce Kanzi brand apples, said in a news release that this year’s crop is “spectacular” and doesn’t have the limitations the previous crop had in relation to a hail storm.
Welsh works with Mike Wade, co-owner of CMI and owner of Columbia Fruit Packers, Wenatchee, Wash. Wade and sub-licensed Kanzi partner Applewood Orchards, Deerfield, Mich., have exclusive rights to grow Kanzi apples in the U.S.
Growers are adding trees to increase production and meet strong market demand, according to the news release.
“With the existing trees in the ground, and new plantings, we estimate that within five years, our production will reach nearly 500,000 cartons of delicious Kanzi apples,” Welsh said in the release.
Even with that expanding production, demand is great enough to require imported Kanzi apples to supplement the domestic program, according to the release. The imports are expected in spring after the domestic apples have sold out.
Kanzi was originally developed in the European market by Greenstar Kanzi Europe and has features from its parents, Gala and braeburn apple varieties.