Yakima Herald – Washington growers shipped about 320K boxes in 2019. That’s expected to hit 2 million this fall.

At the Fred Meyer store in Yakima, shoppers can buy Cosmic Crisp apples for about $3 a pound.

They can also purchase Honeycrisp apples on sale for $1.49.

Fred Meyer store director Dan Gwynne expects some will choose the Honeycrisp: “I think sometimes people are looking for the price.”

In general, however, the price wasn’t as much of a barrier for consumers eager to try the new variety, which was developed by Washington State University’s apple breeding program in Wenatchee.

There’s still time to try Cosmic Crisp, though that time is dwindling: Fruit packing houses are expected to finish packing and shipping Cosmic Crisp apples in the next few weeks.

“We still have about 20% of our product left to pack and ship,” said Chuck Zeutenhorst, general manager of FirstFruits Marketing, a Yakima firm that sells apples grown by FirstFruits Farms and Congdon Orchards.

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association estimates that about 323,000 40-pound boxes of Cosmic Crisp harvested last fall were packed and shipped. That’s a small percentage of the 136 million boxes of fresh apples expected to be shipped and packed overall.

Cosmic Crisp benefited from a robust multimillion dollar marketing campaign that got people talking about the apple nationwide in the months leading up to the Dec. 1 launch.

During a recent work trip in the Midwest, Zeutenhorst encountered plenty of customers asking about Cosmic Crisp.

“They were looking for it,” he said. “That was cool. That was exciting.”

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