YAKIMA, Wash. — Rainier Fruit Co. will feature stronger volumes of Jazz and Lady Alice apples this year, and a new niche variety will appear in limited quantity, said Suzanne Wolter, director of marketing for Yakima-based Rainier Fruit Co.
Wolter said Rainier’s overall conventional apple volume will be off about 3% this year, with alternate bearing varieties fujis, granny smith and golden delicious off the most. On the other hand, she said that organic apple volume will be up 9%. She declined to cite specific volumes.
Wolter said that galas are expected about steady with last year, while Honeycrisp volume could be up 20%, and the firm will continue to offer a high-graphic display that retailers can use for waterfall displays. The variety will feature quick-response codes that customers can scan with their smart phones to access more information.
The firm’s exclusive Lady Alice variety is expected to grow by about 65% to about 100,000 cartons this year, Wolter said. The variety will be sold in February, March and April, she said. Lady Alice has been marketed for five year, and for three years East of the Mississippi.
Meanwhile, another exclusive variety, the European-bred Junami variety, is only expected in limited quantities and won’t be supported yet with a big marketing campaign, Wolter said.
Wolter believes retailers are welcoming the chance to have exclusive varieties.
“There is more excitement in the apple category,” he said.