RubyFrost Group

The New York Apple Growers (NYAG) has unveiled its second new variety in three months. RubyFrost follows last November’s launch of SnapDragon and will be available at participating retailers in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions from January. Both varieties were developed by Cornell University and are licensed for a managed release with NYAG.

“RubyFrost is known for its beautiful rich colour, definitive crisp texture and delicate balance of sweet and tart flavours,” NYAG said in a press release.

The first commercial plantings were carried out in 2011 and will produce limited volumes in 2015, with plans for a much larger roll out with increased retail participation in 2016 as trees continue to mature.

RubyFrost is being marketed as a seasonal wintertime apple that is available for a limited period only. Marketing efforts include in-store demonstrations, point-of-sale materials with high graphic bins, online coupons, food blogger outreach, public relations and social media activities.

“We tested this apple this past January in select New York stores and the results were very positive,” said NYAG”s vice chairman Jeff Crist. “In-store surveys revealed that consumers really liked the sweet and tart flavour and crisp texture of this apple.”

A website was developed to provide consumers with nutritional information, recipes and pairing ideas. The site also includes a “Meet the Growers” section that profiles a grower of the month and provides the full list of growers in New York State.

Apple breeder, Susan Brown, at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York said another benefit of RubyFrost is that it does not brown quickly after slicing.

Formed in 2010, the New York Apple Growers (NYAG) is a grower-owned organisation whose mission is to introduce exclusive, premium flavour apple varieties to the marketplace. NYAG is comprised of 145 grower members in the state of New York, representing about 60 per cent of the state’s apple production.