Fruit lovers are raving about a delicious new taste this summer, 20 years in the making. Available for a limited time through mid-September, Rave® brand MN55 cultivar apples are a delicious cross between the sweet Honeycrisp and the early-to-ripen MonArk apple. Rave® is the newest apple on the market and is outrageously juicy with a refreshing, snappy zing. For more information on the Rave® brand apple, visit www.stemilt.com/fruits/apples/rave-apples.
To celebrate the arrival, Stemilt Growers is hosting a special Apple Pop-Up Shop in the heart of the Big Apple, Aug. 16-18. Consumers can stop by the sleek store, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at 393 Broadway in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, to taste the delicious new release and enjoy complimentary Rave® apples to go.
Rave® apples are exclusively grown and sold by family-owned Stemilt in picturesque Wenatchee, Wash. In addition to their delicious flavor and beautiful red skin covering a soft yellow background, the most unique characteristic about Rave®apples is their early harvest date. While most Washington State apples are not harvested until fall, Rave® apples are harvested beginning in late July and will land fresh in produce departments now and throughout the next four weeks – a signal apple season has officially arrived.
“Bringing a new apple to market is a very special occurrence,” said West Mathison, Stemilt president and a fifth-generation apple grower. “Of the thousands of varieties out there, very few prove commercially viable. We introduced Rave® last year in smaller quantities, and grocery shoppers loved them. We have a larger crop this year, making Rave® available through most of the U.S. this season. With a crisp crunch, zingy sweetness and extra-juicy flavor, Rave® hits all the marks today’s consumers are looking for in their apples, plus people can enjoy it early in the season.”
Rave® apples are best enjoyed for snacking and fresh preparations, such as salads. The apple, scientifically known as cultivar MN55, was created naturally through cross-pollination by horticulturist David Bedford of the University of Minnesota’sapple-breeding program. Bedford is the same researcher who developed the popular Honeycrisp and SweeTango® apples. Bringing the Rave® apple to market was the result of nearly two decades of work from the university, including six years of testing at multiple locations across the U.S. to ensure the variety was of sufficiently high quality to be commercially released.
Stemilt, a leader in the premium apple industry, was quick to adopt the new apple as part of its Inspiration Orchard® program, which seeks to continuously bring innovative fruits to market as consumer taste changes while drawing from the company’s 100-year history and industry best practices. Stemilt has combined the signature apples within its program along with exclusive and new apple brands, such as Rave®, to raise the bar on how the company defines flavor within the apple category and to change it by delivering the best apples in the industry. Additional apples under the Inspiration Orchard® portfolio include Stemilt’s proprietary apple, Piñata®, as well as SweeTango®.
Stemilt estimates a Rave® crop of 60,000 40-pound cartons this year, with the volume growing quickly through 2020 as new acres come into production. Rave®apples will be available in select grocery stores throughout the U.S. now through mid-September, retailing for approximately $2.99 to $3.99 per pound.