Key retailers have a first chance to get their hands on the Chilean Honeycrisp apple. Available the last week of April from Honeybear Marketing, a division of Wescott Agri Products, the Chilean Honeycrisp is the result of almost ten years of planning and growing efforts in the carefully selected Southern Hemisphere microclimate.
Available only at Honeybear retail partners, the new Chilean Honeycrisp crop represents the largest ever import of the variety into the United States to satisfy booming consumer demand, say company officials. Wescott Agri Products and Honeybear Marketing was granted the exclusive production and commercialization rights for the Chilean Honeycrisp by the University of Minnesota, developer and owner of the original variety.
“We first began giving our retail partners and their customers a little annual taste of this amazing fresh crop of Honeycrisp in 2011 and spring/summer demand has been growing phenomenally ever since then,” says Don Roper, vice president of Honeybear Marketing. “By growing Honeycrisp in both North and South America, we are able to provide a year round ‘fresh crop’ supply assurance program for our retail partners and their customers.
“As key retailers know, and consumers are now learning, the late storage domestic Honeycrisp loses both pressure and flavor by this time of year resulting in just an average eating experience. Our ‘fresh picked’ crop from the best growing location in Chile can now provide that harvest-fresh flavor everyone has come to expect and demand from this high quality apple.”
The Honeybear Chilean Honeycrisp is just one program from Honeybear Marketing. The company’s apple varietal development program is focused on new variety introductions that go through a nurturing and quality control process that requires seven to ten years. Several new varieties of apples will be introduced over the next few years. Honeybear was the first company to grow Honeycrisp in Washington state and in the Southern Hemisphere and today is recognized as the premier Honeycrisp label in the U.S.
“We take a lot of pride in the efforts we make to identify and develop new varieties for our retail partners and their consumers. By focusing our energies on developing varieties with great flavor and a rich eating experience, we are able to bring excitement and growth to the apple category,” says Fred Wescott, President of Wescott Agri Products. “We then grow these varieties in ideal microclimates enabling us to provide a wonderful product and eating experience for consumers. That is the expectation our partners and consumers should have, and to do anything less is not Honeybear.”