Bigger volumes of Pazazz apple will be available this year, said Don Roper, vice president sales and marketing at Elgin, Minn.-based Honeybear Brands. ( The Packer )

ANAHEIM, Calif.   — All that Pazazz was a big topic of conversation at the Honeybear Brands’ Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit booth, said Don Roper, vice president sales and marketing at Elgin, Minn.-based Honeybear Brands.

The Pazazz proprietary apple from Honeybear is coming into the marketing season with a strong outlook, Roper said.

“The Pazazz crop looks real good, and we’re rolling in with (fruit) from Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and Nova Scotia,” he said.

Marketing of the Pazazz crop is anticipated from late November through June of next year, he said.

“We’re distributing all across the U.S. with retailers in pretty much every region of the U.S,” he said. High-graphic, “cart-stopping” display bins are available for retail merchandisers, Roper said, and the Pazazz Price Look-Up code sticker also calls out the variety in a big way.

No organic fruit is anticipated this year but some acres will be moving to organic in future years, he said.

Honeybear has big volume of Honeycrisp apples from Washington, and all of that crop was successfully harvested, Roper said.

The firm’s Minnesota-grown First Kiss early apple suffered setbacks with hail in a couple of key orchards, Roper said, and volume was far short of expectations this year, he said.

But the variety is expected to have a promising future, Roper said.
“We’re excited about that variety because it comes on the front part of the season in the Midwest, and it’s a strong opportunity,” he said.

Future selections

Honeybear also showcased and sampled unnamed varieties that are not yet commercially available, including a couple of red-fleshed varieties and a buttercream yellow variety.

The yellow variety has a very clean appearance, firmness and a tropical flavor to it. The red-fleshed varieties may eventually be a good fit for holiday promotions, he said.

The yellow variety may be commercialized within a year, while one of the red-flesh varieties may be two years away from the market, he said.