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