The Cosmic Crisp apple, developed and marketed for Washington growers, has cracked the Top 10 in sales value and volume in the United States.

Citing Nielsen data from September 2022 to January 2023, the Cosmic was ranked 10th in volume and eighth in total sales value among apples sold in the United States, according to a news release from Washington State University.

The other nine varieties on the Top 10 list were Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, McIntosh, Envy and Ambrosia, the release said.

Cosmic Crisp is the trademarked brand name for the WA 38 apple variety, originally bred at WSU’s research station in Wenatchee. The university released it for full commercial planting in 2017; it first hit store shelves in 2019.

From September through January, Cosmic sales were $41 million, a 163 percent increase over the previous year, according to the release. Average retail price was $2.41 per pound, 10 percent lower than the previous year.

In North America, only Washington growers may grow and sell the WA 38. Some foreign producers are licensed, but they may sell to limited markets that do not include North America. 

by Ross Courtney