Sep 7, 2018Koru apple harvests gearing up in US
Koru apple growers are gearing up for their best and biggest harvest to date this fall. Growers in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania are all reporting that the Koru crop looks great and should exceed all expectations on quality and flavor this season.
Koru is a New Zealand apple that is currently imported into the U.S. in May and marketed through September. U.S.-grown Koru come mostly from Washington and New York harvests in October and can be marketed through March.
Koru is a cross between a Fuji and Braeburn and was first discovered in New Zealand in 1994. The apple cultivar is Plumac and is registered as Koru after the Maori word that symbolizes “new life, growth, strength and peace.”
First introduced into the U.S. in 2013 from New Zealand, Koru continues to delight customers who are looking to “Escape the Ordinary” with its outstanding flavor, incredible crunch and a sweet hint of honey. Crisp, sweet and naturally delicious, KORU is exceptional for eating and cooking.
Koru apples are managed by Coast to Coast Growers, which has the exclusive rights to import and grow Koru in the U.S. Coast to Coast has retained three of the top apple marketing groups in the U.S. to manage the imports and the sales. In Washington state, Chelan Fresh and Oneonta Starr Ranch work closely with New York Apple Sales of New York, all marketing Koru sales. In 2015, the first U.S.-grown Koru were harvested and marketed in the U.S.
“This is our third year that that we have worked collectively selling Koru, and each year the team gets stronger” said Kaari Stannard, president and owner of New York Apple Sales.
“We’re excited about the new crop. It’s shaping up to be a real crowd pleaser for apple customers.”
“Timing is on track to be able to continue imported Koru sales with U.S . homegrown Koru sales this fall,” said John Cushing, vice president of sales for New York Apple Sales,.
Brent Shammo, who handles sales for Oneonta Starr Ranch said, “I agree with John. Our winter sales have been steady and we are already talking about the new crop with our customers.”
Mac Riggan who leads the Chelan Fresh sales team in Washington, said “We have the best crop to date on the tree, with better color and larger sizing. Near perfect weather in our growing region is providing an optimal formula for apple growth and eating qualities.”
This fall, all three sales groups will be utilizing several merchandising tools and support programs to retailers. Ongoing in-store support with high graphic cartons and display Kiosks, support of consumer demo’s along with on-line coupon and or instant rebates will be available.
In addition to store activities, social media efforts will be ramped up to invite dialogs and conversations with consumers. Social media influencers along with food bloggers will help spread the good word about Koru.