Elgin, Minnesota – Consumers who love just picked, fresh Honeycrisp – and retailers who love guaranteed sales from this leading variety – can both sink their teeth into some juicy news this week. Honeybear Brands, the leading Honeycrisp importer from the southern hemisphere, announced today that the first shipments of the company’s 2019 Chilean Honeycrisp are leaving their southern hemisphere orchards and will begin to arrive on retailer shelves no later than April 15, 2019. The crop represents the first fresh picked Honeycrisp apples to arrive at U.S. retail in this new year.
“The difference in the overall eating quality, juicy taste, firm texture and balanced flavor of these fresh picked Honeycrisp from Chile versus what’s currently available in stores is absolutely night and day,” says Don Roper, vice president sales and marketing, Honeybear Brands. “And that’s deliberate. We invested heavily in our orchards in Chile more than a decade ago and we’ve been at work ever since growing production and fine tuning quality so that we can bring our nationwide retail partners something they can’t find anywhere else at this time of year: the freshest tasting Honeycrisp on the apple deck.
“Our vertically integrated program insures that customers receive the best tasting and highest quality product in the marketplace because its shipped directly from the orchard and packed to order for our customers in the United States.”
Honeybear’s 2019 crop is both the largest production volume of high quality fruit to ever to come out of the company’s southern hemisphere orchards thanks to two key factors. Exceptional growing conditions with just the right balance of warm days, cooler nights and perfect rainfall have given the crop the classic traits of the perfect Honeycrisp: high color, firm texture and juicy, crisp bite. And the precision work of the company’s team on the ground in growing, picking and packing premium quality apples is second to none.
“Our agronomic team in Chile truly are Honeycrisp experts,” adds Roper. “They’re multi-generation farmers who know what it takes to grow truly market-leading varieties and incredible apples. And they understand how to get the most out of their soil, microclimate and growing conditions to produce a healthy, exceptional tasting apple.”
Since Honeybear’s first Chilean Honeycrisp crop was planted in 2008 in the Araucania region of Southern Chile, production has grown to more than 400,000+ cases in 2019, making Honeybear Brands the leading importer of record, not just of Honeycrisp but all apples and pears out of South America. Likewise, Honeybear is also the leading organic Honeycrisp importer with supply doubling compared to 2018 as more acreage is transitioned from conventional to organic production. In addition, Honeybear has also made significant investment over the past few years in tree to table supply chain management both nationally and internationally, upgrading standards and practices across every touch point of the apple’s journey to the consumer’s table.
“If you’re growing the best fruit it is just as important to have a best in class supply chain from picking and packing to storage and distribution,” says Roper. “Any retailer currently working with us either in the U.S. or overseas can expect one thing: best in class logistics, cold chain management and support services tailored to their needs. We pride ourselves on that as much as the quality of our apples.”
Honeybear Brands and parent Wescott Agri Products were granted exclusive production and commercialization rights for the Chilean Honeycrisp by the University of Minnesota, developer and owner of the original variety. The company was one of the first to grow Honeycrisp in Washington state and Chile, and is widely recognized as the premier Honeycrisp label in the United States.
For more information visit www.honeybearbrands.com or contact Honeybear at 952-746-1315.
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About the Honeycrisp Variety
The well-loved Honeycrisp variety was first designated in 1960, patented in 1988 and made available to customers in 1991. In recent years, thanks to its unique blend of crunch, crisp flesh and a mixed sweet/tart flavor profile, the Honeycrisp variety has become an in-demand favorite of consumers, cooks, apple-lovers and the retailers that sell it. A challenging variety to grow, Honeycrisp requires the right microclimate to maximize production, yield quality and flavor.
About Honeybear Brands (www.honeybearbrands.com)
Honeybear Brands is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties. The company started as Wescott Agri Products, a family run apple orchard in the early 1970s. From that early start several generations ago, today Honeybear still employs the same hands-on, personal attention to each and every apple variety produced through the Honeybear Apple Varietal Development Program. Honeybear is the leading provider of Honeycrisp apples in the Northwest region and offers complete domestic and global supply integration from varietal development to growing, packing, shipping and retailer support. The company has close to one hundred varieties in various stages of commercial testing and is renowned for bringing retail star Pazazz to market.