(May 20, 1:10 p.m.) CALGARY, Alberta — The Jazz apple is shedding its groove for an edgier persona.

The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Hastings, New Zealand-based Enza Ltd. unveiled a new marketing campaign, Apples with Bite, in mid-May.

Enza general manger Dawn Gray and Oppenheimer pipfruit category director David Nelley showcased the apple’s new marketing materials at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association exposition May 15-16 in Calgary.

Gray said now that Jazz is available year-round it was important to reinvent its marketing to have a more uniform message. The previous “Pure Apple Groove” positioning, used since the apple was introduced to the North American market in 2002, will be phased out.

“We have a global grower base,” Gray said. “The message needs to be consistent.”

Nelley said the new marketing strategy plays to the target Jazz consumer — hip, young moms with a sense of unique identity.

To reinforce that message, Jazz has updated photography and materials with a clean, lively look.

The Jazz Apple Women’s Cycling Team began a tour of the U.S. in mid-May, coinciding with the start of the Southern Hemisphere Jazz season. New Zealand Olympic qualifier Ali Shanks also is featured on the team, which plans to do guerilla marketing and sampling at events like urban adventure races.

Tastings and demonstrations are the one of the most important parts of spreading Jazz apple popularity, Nelley said.

“We have got to get the taste out there,” he said. “That makes all the difference.”

Nelley said increased Jazz volume in New Zealand means the country is prepared to send more Jazz apples to North America than braeburns this season.

Jazz apples have set themselves apart from other new varieties because they maintain their texture and flavor, even without cold storage, Gray said.

“The greatest attribute with the Jazz is that even when they are air-stored, they still have that crunch,” she said. “They are almost shrink-proof.”

Jazz apple marketing plays a new tune
New Zealand Olympic qualifier Ali Shanks, pictured here, and the rest of the Jazz Apple Women’s Cycling Team began a tour of the U.S. in mid-May, coinciding with the start of the Southern Hemisphere Jazz season.