(UPDATED COVERAGE, 9:57 a.m., Feb. 28) Yakima, Wash.-based Pink Lady America has inked a sliced-apple branding deal with a Houston-based fresh-cut processor.

Pink Lady’s deal with Country Fresh Inc. represents the first time branded Pink Lady slices will be marketed at a major retailer, said Alan Taylor, marketing director of Pink Lady America.

The Pink Lady slices packed by Country Fresh are organic, Taylor said. Packs have been on retail shelves since the week of Feb. 18, he said.

Country Fresh is distributing the product in the Midwest and Southeast.

Taylor said Pink Ladys are a perfect apple for the fresh-cut market.

“(It’s) considered by the slicers to be a premium product for their market,” he said. “Its crisp, tightly packed cell structure makes for effective clean cuts. It is also slower to turn brown when cut than most other apples.”

Country Fresh is packing slices in a new resealable 2-pound bag. The processor’s new pack joins Pink Lady-branded apple juice, which is sold at a chain in Washington and Oregon, as items in Pink Lady America’s value-added product line.