WA 38, which will be marketed under the Cosmic Crisp brand
WA 38, which will be marketed under the Cosmic Crisp brand

WA 38, an apple variety developed by Washington State University, has a new brand name designed to play up its attributes to consumers.

The variety will be marketed as Cosmic Crisp, which refers to the fruits lenticels that resemble small starbursts.

More than 16 years in the making, the WA 38 variety is marked by a sweet-tart flavor, bright red coloring and lots of juice, according to a WSU description.

Carolyn Ross, an associate professor in the university's school of food science, led the extensive naming process, according to a news release.

Several focus groups were held throughout the state, including in Pullman, Yakima and Seattle.

During the process, a theme emerged that played up the apple's rosy cheeks.

Participants also preferred names that highlighted the variety's sensory properties.

“They liked having that little bit of information in the name so that when you are in the apple section trying to decide which apple to purchase, you have some idea of what to expect,” Ross said in the release.

The "crisp" portion of the brand name not only plays up the variety's texture but also links to one of its parents, Honeycrisp. The other parent is Enterprise.

Proprietary Variety Management, a Yakima-based firm specializing in the management of proprietary varieties, also surveyed shoppers in retail locations.

Now that a brand name is chosen, the university will work with the apple industry to develop a logo and accompanying graphics to support the brand launch before fruit goes to market.

The Cosmic Crisp branded variety won't be widely available to consumers until 2019.

Already, the university is working with several Northwest nurseries and other producers to increase WA 38 planting stock.

The university is holding a drawing May 31 to raffle off trees to Washington growers for planting in 2017.