New Zealand-grown Mahana Red apples from Freshmax are now available on the US retail market following the variety’s launch on both coasts of the North American county in July.
The variety will be available from June to November each year and although 2012 volume to the US has been small, supplies are set to grow in the coming seasons.
Australasian group Freshmax said it has worked closely with US partners Earthsource for over 12 months to ensure the Mahana Red export programme runs smoothly, according to a press release from the firm.
The variety is characterised by its “vibrant red colour, crisp and juicy texture and sweet/tart taste”, and has achieved a premium in the New Zealand marketplace due to its popularity among consumers, Freshmax explained.
An integrated marketing strategy has been developed for the variety’s launch in North America and includes point of sale materials, public relations, social media and on-pack messaging.
Freshmax said the export of Mahana Red apples in 2012 marks the first time that the group has launched one of its own exclusive varieties on the international market.
“Freshmax are constantly pushing to develop new and exclusive varieties which deliver for both our customers and consumers alike,” explained Freshmax’s international general manager, Simon Gillett.
“We feel that Mahana Red is a great fit for the North American market and expect it to succeed as a new variety.”
Mahana Red has so far reached consumers through retail chains Top Foods, Haggens, Supervalu, Cashwise Coburns and Super 1, with further interest expressed by other retailers.
Mahana Red apples are grown in the Nelson and Hawkes Bay regions of New Zealand.