(Sept. 19) Wenatchee, Wash.-based Grapple Fruits LLC gave two grower-shippers exclusive rights to process, package, market and sell the Grapple apple, a grape-flavored apple.

Selah, Wash.-based Rainier Fruit Co. and Wenatchee-based Columbia Marketing International now can market and sell Grapple Apples in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Grapples especially appeal to children and their parents, said Bob Mast, marketing director for CMI.

“It’s kind of an entry-level apple for kids,” Mast said. “Overall, the goal is to get the consumption of fruits and vegetables up for kids.”

By the end of September, the two companies hope to start selling and processing Grapples, said Suzanne Wolter, business development director for Rainier Fruit. Rainier and CMI expect to move a minimum of 150,000 cases by the end of 2006, Wolter said.

Before the companies can develop new packaging, Mast said they will focus on new processing lines.