Envy apples from New Zealand will be available in U.S. stores soon. ( Courtesy T&G )

New Zealand apple season is starting, and grower-exporter T&G’s volumes are up compared to last season, with larger-sized fruit.

Jazz and Envy varieties are driving the program, followed by royal gala, fuji, Braeburn, granny smith, Pacific Rose and Pink Lady apples, according to a news release. The company also ships Taylor’s Gold pears.

There was little rain during harvest, and a smooth growing season has produced a quality crop, according to the release, in contrast to last season’s crop, which was affected by heat, drought and fires.

“This year’s New Zealand crop truly is bigger and better than years past,” Cecilia Flores Paez, T&G head of marketing for North America. “Fruit size is trending larger, and brix, pressures and color all are enhanced over last season — and even years prior. The eating experience should be first-rate.”

The Oppenheimer Group, British Columbia, manages T&G’s program in North America. Branded apple volumes are up this season, with Envy cases up 35% and Jazz up 13%.

“We’ve been marketing New Zealand apples since the 1950s and are now approaching one of the most unique summer markets, historically,” Karin Gardner, executive director of marketing for Oppy, said in the release. “We think fresh-crop Envy and Jazz, more than ever, will deliver on shopper needs due to their high quality and consistency.”

The import program will focus on bulk apples, peaking on size 70-90, but offer increased range of packs, including 2- through 5-pound bags. The program lasts from June through mid-October. Jazz will also be harvested in Washington state this summer, mostly in small sizes, complementing the larger New Zealand Jazz, according to the release.

Ad opportunities and point-of-sale materials are available and marketing campaigns are planned.

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