A new apple variety grown by apple growers in New York will be launched in Wegmans supermarkets starting in November. The apple, trademarked SnapDragon, has a crispy texture, sweet, juicy flavor, and distinctly bright red dappled color.
New York Apple Growers, a grower-owned company with 145 grower members, is licensed for the managed release of SnapDragon and trademarked RubyFrost, another variety bred by Cornell University breeder Dr. Susan Brown. SnapDragon is a hybrid of Honeycrisp and has excellent quality, storage, and shelf life, according to Jeff Crist of the NY Apple Growers. The grower group was formed in 2010 with the mission of introducing exclusive, premium flavor apple varieties to the market place.
Marketing efforts at Wegmans, which is a regional supermarket company headquartered in New York with stores in the mid-Atlantic and New England regions, will include point-of-sale materials, high graphic packaging, in-store demonstrations, public relations, and social media activities. A website is devoted to SnapDragon. Growers will also make in-store appearances during select demos in November.
Both SnapDragon and RubyFrost have limited quantities. About 400 acres are in the ground, but most were planted since 2011. RubyFrost is the more tart variety and tastes best after a couple months of storage. RubyFrost will go to market in January. www.snapdragonapple.com
Melissa Hansen is the research program director for the Washington Wine Commission. Hansen previously was an associate editor at Good Fruit Grower from 1996 through 2015. Read her stories: Author Index