With the start of fall, apples are showing up in the produce aisle in a big way. Sweetie, an intensely sweet and crunchy new apple variety from FirstFruits of Washington, will be making an appearance at retail this month.
First planted in New Zealand, Sweetie is now grown in Washington State by Broetje Orchards and is sold by FirstFruits Marketing. Sweetie combines the best attributes of two parents—Gala’s excellent sugars alongside the firm-crisp texture of Braeburn, but with a unique flavor of its own. Characteristic with its name, Sweetie leads the pack of varieties when it comes to sweetness, according to a news release.
True to the Broetje growing philosophy, Sweetie stands next to Opal as an example of new variety innovation and top standards for flavor. It was first planted as a 30-acre test block in Prescott, Wash. Over the past two years, additional blocks have been planted as trees have been determined to yield good quality fruit and consumer response for the variety has been positive.
Similar to Opal, Sweetie was released in limited markets where consumer response could be measured. Initial response has been favorable, especially amongst consumers of Gala or Fuji, whose palate tends to like a sweeter apple.
“We are always looking for new varieties that will resonate with consumers to bring to our customers. After our huge success with Opal we knew we would have to follow with something great, and I think we have found it in Sweetie,” said Andy Tudor, marketing manager at FirstFruits of Washington.
“Launching a new variety is a very complex process,” he added. “The fruit needs to be grower friendly, have a good shelf life and appearance, and have some kind of unique quality to get people to try it. Sweetie has all of those characteristics and I believe we have a winner once again.”
These apples are full of flavor, highlighted by an intense sweet taste and crunchy texture. It’s not just their great taste, but Sweeties’ beautiful red blush on a golden-green skin, which makes them stand out from other varieties, the news release says.
Sweetie was granted its own PLU No. 3628 and will be featured in the new product showcase at the Fresh Summit Convention and Expo in October. FirstFruits Marketing will be available for inquires at booth No. 743.
Where in Portland will Sweetie apples be available this fall?