(Sept. 3) YAKIMA, Wash. — More pink lady orchards are coming into production, and Pink Lady USA LLC is ready to help push sales of the apple with in-store promotions and its flowing heart logo.

“We have in-store demos and have had tastings at women’s shows,” said Alan Taylor, manager. Pink Lady USA offers samples of pink lady apples at the Northwest Women’s Show, a trade show for women, which takes place in November.

The target of pink lady apples is women, but the medium to small pink apple also is an ideal snack for children, Taylor said.

“We are trying to get them into the school lunch program,” he said.

Either way, much needs to be done to get the word out about pink lady apples, he said.

“It is still a product being introduced,” Taylor said. “Between 80% and 90% of consumers still aren’t aware of it.”

Taylor said pink lady apple growers do not have to be part of Pink Lady USA, but they need to be members to display the flowing heart logo. The logo assures consumers of high quality standards, Taylor said.

“We are part of the International Pink Lady Alliance Ltd.,” he said. It has member organizations in eight countries.

“We all pack to the same standards,” Taylor said. “You can find the same quality on the shelf year after year.”

Taylor described California and Washington as prime areas for pink lady production. “There are pretty sizeable plantings,” he said. “And we have seen rapid growth. Last year we ran out of fruit.”

The key to further improving sales is simply getting consumers to try pink lady applies, Taylor said. “They have a complex flavor,” he said. “There is tartness followed by sweetness.”

Because of the apple’s initial tartness, Pink Lady USA has produced a brochure titled “Look Out, She Bites Back.”

Taylor said that to reach full flavor in pink lady apples, they need to be put into storage for about a month after harvest. Pink lady harvest begins in October and continues into November with gift boxes available for Christmas.

As the new season approaches, Pink Lady USA has ramped up its promotional program and will use several strategies besides in-store signs and tastings. Pink Lady USA has merchandising representatives who call on the trade with information about the apple.

The organization also strives to get coverage in magazines and food sections of newspapers and business publications.

In addition, pink lady apples are displayed at major produce trade shows.

To help pay for its promotions, Pink Lady USA charges its members $1.25 per carton sold. Taylor said pink lady apples tend to carry a slight premium but sometimes are priced the same as other apples.

But the taste of the apple is unmistakable and should have many consumers coming back for more, Taylor said.