ZILLAH, Wash. — With an expected doubling of output from 2008 to 2009, to about 600,000 cartons, Washington Jazz apple production and marketing efforts are on the rise, said Rick Derrey, Enza North America coordinator based in Zillah.
Meanwhile, Derrey said Pacific Rose — another Enza club apple variety — will feature similar volumes to last year at about 300,000 cartons but is scheduled to increase in volume in the next few years. Derrey said the Pacific Rose been marketed into a firm market and has found export success in the Far East.
Enza’s new Envy variety is only just now being planted and Derrey said won’t be in the commercial market for three years and then with only limited volume.
All major U.S. retailers handle the Jazz apple, said Karin Gardner, communications manager at Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group, Enza’s North American marketing partner. The apple has been marketed in commercial quantities from Washington for four years,
Organic and conventional Jazz will enter the market in mid-October, David Nelley, pipfruit category manager for The Oppenheimer Group, said in an early September news release. He said the company will offer a new Jazz Apple Snackers this year, a 3-pound box containing up to 12 apples. The apples will be marketed in a free-standing, ready-made display unit.
Nelley indicated Oppenheimer and Enza will kick off a complete integrated marketing campaign in mid-November to support bigger volumes. The effort will included radio and billboard advertising, online contests, social market and other ever-increasing volume of Jazz apples, Oppenheimer and Enza will launch a full-scale integrated marketing campaign in mid-November. Components of the campaign include radio and billboard advertising, online contests, social marketing and more.
The variety is primarily marketed from Washington from early November through April and perhaps into May. After May, supply from New Zealand provides the U.S. market with year-round supply until Washington Jazz is ready again in November. Gardiner said the fruit, tending to smaller sizes, can be positioned as a snacking apple that is an affordable luxury.
“Some people are trying it for the first time; we feel it has tons of potential,” Gardiner said.
Derrey said in August he was encouraged by the growing season and the fruit size for Jazz, with size up somewhat compared to a year ago. Growers have learned to grow a large Jazz with production techniques that train the branches on the tree upward.
New planting of Jazz are still going into ground this year and next year, so production should continue to rise for several years.
Derrey said Enza would market limited volume of organic Jazz this year.
He said growers are glad to be in a program that offers defined and limited volumes and a single sales desk for the domestic market.
“The machinery is in place and there is more of a chance of success,” he said.