by Keith Mathews, FirstFruits Marketing, LLC
Posted: Monday, March 29, 2010 at 11:36AM EDT
Yakima, WA â€“ FirstFruits Marketing, LLC, along with Broetje Orchards recently unveiled â€œOpalâ€, a new apple variety grown in Washington State.
This new apple variety is recognized for its bright yellow color with hints of orange blush, but its key attributes are its crunchy texture and sweet flavor with brix of 15-18. These flavor and texture attributes come from its cross between a Golden Delicious and a Topaz apple. Other attributes of this apple include a medium-round shape, stem end russeting and resistance to oxidation after slicing.
The marketing campaign for Opal has coined them â€œa new American jewelâ€ and in taste tests, consumers have called this apple great, crispy and tasty, giving it high marks. In fact, in a recent survey of nearly 1000 consumers, 89% of consumers said they liked the taste of Opal and would buy it. Additionally the majority of those consumers ranked Opal crispier than their current apple and preferred Opalâ€™s flavor to their current variety.
The Opal apple was discovered in Europe in 1999 and for the past ten years has been tested in 63 orchards throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. Opal is making its debut appearance in the United States grown exclusively by Ralph Broetje of Broetje Orchards in Washington state.
â€œWe are proud to work with a high quality grower like Ralph Broetje and bring to market new varietals that will help drive category sales. We believe that Opal is on trend with other varietals like Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp that are showing strong consumer popularity and increasing consumer purchase patterns,â€ remarked Andy Tudor, Marketing Director for FirstFruits Marketing.
Opal apples are available exclusively through FirstFruits Marketing and will be available March 1 â€“ May, or while supplies last.
Source: FirstFruits Marketing LLC