Grower Direct Marketing LLC and O-G Packing & Cold Storage Co. are now shipping their MonsterCot apricots.

The MonsterCot is larger and sweeter than traditional apricots and ships earlier than most domestic stone fruit varieties, according to a news release from Stockton, Calif.-based Grower Direct.

With its head start on other apricots and other stone fruit varieties, the MonsterCot provides an early-season promotional opportunity for retailers.

“We have a nice crop of MonsterCots that are here just a few days early for retailers to enjoy,” Jim Hanson, Grower Direct’s managing director, said in the release. “Last year, these apricots moved at a record pace, and this season, MonsterCots are becoming a centerpiece of promotion to kick off the fresh California fruit season.”

This is the sixth season Grower Direct and O-G are shipping the MonsterCot, whose season typically runs from April through May.

MonsterCots also are sourced from Chile in January.