Minnesota apple growers will market the new MN55 variety under the First Kiss brand name this fall.
The MN55 comes from the University of Minnesota breeding program. MN55 is a Honeycrisp descendant that typically harvests weeks earlier than most other varieties.
Minnesota growers will be the only ones to market the apple as First Kiss, the first time the university has used a separate brand name for apples grown in the state.
“We’re excited for Minnesotans to get their first taste of First Kiss this fall,” professor for horticultural science Jim Luby said in a news release. “Through two decades of evaluating hundreds of crosses and thousands of trees, First Kiss distinguished itself throughout our research and trials as a superior early fall apple.”
The MN55 is also grown by Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers, which has an exclusive licensing agreement with the university. Its brand name for the apple is Rave.
Supply will be limited this fall but will increase each year as the trees mature.