September 16, 2008
Contact: Denise Donohue (800) 456-2753
(Note: New Michigan Honeycrisp symbol available for publication. Please download at MichiganApples.com. Click on Commercial Sales then Logos.)
Growers ready to harvest Honeycrisp
Consumer demand remains strong for emerging apple variety
(DeWitt, Mich.) - Apple growers throughout the state are starting to harvest the hottest apple variety to hit the market in decades – the Michigan Honeycrisp.
“Consumers are drawn to these apples like bees to honey – which proves they got the name right with this variety,” said Denise Donohue, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “No question about it, the Honeycrisp has created a buzz for the Michigan apple industry that is unprecedented.”
Introduced to Michigan in 1990 when just a couple of acres were planted, the Honeycrisp is now the number one most planted apple tree in the state.
In 2006, growers planted 240 new acres of Honeycrisp with the next closest rival being the Gala with 135 new acres. Today there are more than 1,200 acres of Honeycrisp trees in Michigan.
“Our growers are taking out less popular varieties and planting more and more Honeycrisp in an effort to meet demand,” said Donohue. “Right now these apples go like hotcakes and in fact, we’re usually entirely sold out by the first of November.”
With new trees continuing to go in the ground, industry leaders say they expect to have a larger supply within the next couple of years, extending availability into November and perhaps beyond.
As the name suggests, Honeycrisp apples are sweet like honey with just the right amount of crunch. The superb quality and taste has given this variety the distinction of being the most sought-after apple grown in Michigan.
“People actually stand in line waiting at some of our farm markets just for this variety,” said Donohue. “It’s amazing to see how one apple can create so much excitement.”
To find the nearest farm market offering Honeycrisp apples, please visit www.MichiganApples.com. Click on Where to Go/Buy and then Farm Markets. The red apple denotes Honeycrisp availability.
To help shoppers identify the Michigan Honeycrisp, the Michigan Apple Committee – the non-profit organization working on behalf of the industry – has developed a new symbol which features a beehive shaped in the form of an apple.
“We’re in the process of getting this new icon trademarked and look forward to having it on Honeycrisp materials in the grocery store, as well as at your local farm market,” said Donohue.
The Michigan apple harvest got underway in mid-August with the arrival of the Paula Reds, followed by the Ginger Gold and Gala. There are about 950 apple farms in the state, spanning some 37,000 acres.
The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world. -###-