( Cosmic Crisp )

Cashmere, Wash.-based Crunch Pak will be the exclusive slicer of newly available Cosmic Crisp apples, beginning in December.

“Partnering with Crunch Pak provides a huge boost to our sampling efforts and will increase the apple’s visibility nationally,” Kathryn Grandy, director of marketing for Proprietary Variety Management, said in a news release. Yakima-based Proprietary Variety Management is leading the Cosmic Crisp retail launch.

2019-20 will be the first year of commercial availability, but volume is expected to expand rapidly in the next few years as the variety has been widely planted by Washington growers.
The deal also will help Crunch Pak, Ozgur Koc, senior vice president of business and product development for Crunch Pak, said in the release.

“Our goal is to provide shoppers with an excellent eating experience,” he said in the release. “Having the exclusive rights to new varieties with complex flavor profiles helps us meet that goal and keep the category fresh.” 

Koc said the variety’s firm, crisp texture and sweet-tart flavor profile make it an “ideal eating and slicing apple.”

Cosmic Crisp has also partnered with Litehouse, a marketer of salad dressings, ciders and other consumer goods. Litehouse will offer Cosmic Crisp branded cider in jugs, according to the release.

“We are excited to partner with Cosmic Crisp to create a new varietal offering,” Theresa Lindholm, brand manager at Litehouse, said in the release. “The juice is light in color, but it packs a bold, fresh flavor that has irresistible sweet and tart notes, and is unlike any of our other ciders. It will be the perfect addition to our existing cider offering.”

Cosmic Crisp fresh-cut apples pouches can be previewed at the United Fresh show in June and sampled at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in October, according to the release.

The Cosmic Crisp WA 38 cv brand apple variety was developed by Washington State University and is a cross between enterprise and Honeycrisp varieties.

For the 2019 harvest, the release said that Proprietary Variety Management has mandated that fruit from third leaf trees can be sold in the fresh apple market no earlier than Dec. 1, as long as the fruit reaches a baseline starch reading of 5 on the Cosmic Crisp starch scale. The release said fruit from second leaf trees becomes eligible for fresh market sales on or after Jan. 1, according to the release.

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