A new variety of pear that looks and tastes like an apple is being launched into M&S.

Theas-yet-unnamed variety, referred to as T109 but dubbed the 'Papple', has the skin and texture of a pear and is a member of the pear family. It is the result of a cross between a European pear variety and an Asianblushed pear.

According to M&S, growers “wanted to develop the ultimate pear that had an amazing colour and an exotic flavour.” They crossed Asian pears, known for their juiceiness and texture, with European pears, which have strong flavour profiles.

The variety, grown in New Zealand and available for the first time in the UK, is round like an apple and has bright red skin with some green speckles. Itis part of a new series of pears to be stocked by the retailer this year, and M&S hopes it will be possible to grow T109 in the UK by 2015.

T109 will be in M&S stores from next week at £1 (€1.23) each.

Theretailer’s fruit specialist Shazad Rehman said: “This is one of the most exciting new varieties of fruit we have seen for several years. We know our customers like to try new and interesting fruit and we hope this will be something they will really enjoy.

“It’s got a lovely refreshing taste, perfect for snacking on - and a fun alternative to an ‘apple a day’.”