( Courtesy Alpine Fresh/Berry Fresh )

Sweet Karoline blackberries will be making their way to supermarket shelves this year after seven years of research, development and market testing.

The variety was developed by the breeding program and grower operation Expoberries, which is owned by Alpine Fresh Inc., Miami, and Berry Fresh LLC, Dominguez Hills, Calif.

“We believe that once the consumer is able to get this variety in their stores they will be extremely happy with the quality and taste of the fruit,” Walter Yager, Alpine Fresh CEO, said in the release. “The blackberry industry has been craving something new to advance the category and this is a big step in that right direction.”

Sweet Karoline is the first berry to be developed by Expoberries, according to the release, which says they are known for their sweet flavor and long shelf lives.

“Its distinct sweet taste is really unlike anything on the market,” Jyoti Bhogal, vice president of sales at Berry Fresh, said in the release.

The blackberries are grown in Mexico, but growing trials are being conducted in the U.S., with a goal of having year-round availability, according to the release. They are available October through June, according to the release.

“After years of development, we are extremely proud to reach this new chapter of our breeding program,” Lorenzo Venezian, president of Berry Fresh, said in the release. “We anticipate that our customers’ will really love Sweet Karoline.”

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