Tech geeks, stand down! By all-new apple, I don’t mean some new gadget being introduced from that big computer company!
Starting on December 1, grocery store shoppers will begin seeing an all-new apple in the produce section.
You might think its name sounds like a video game. Personally, it sounds like a superhero-themed breakfast cereal to me.
But the Cosmic Crisp is ready to be a potential “game-changer” for the apple industry.
Anytime I hear someone refer to something potentially being a “game-changer,” I automatically have my doubts.
When I was a kid, there were several varieties of apples most grocery stores sold. Offhand, I can think of Red Delicious, Gold Delicious, Macintosh and Granny Smith.
Over the years, all sorts of new apples with names like Gala, Honeycrisp and Jazz.
When I was growing up, the Red Delicious was the apple. Every grocery store, no matter which other varieties they sold, stocked the Red Delicious.
There have always been lots of apple varieties.
The idea of an all-new apple isn’t really new. The U.S. Apple Association says apple farmers grow more than 100 different types of apples commercially in the United States.
Most shoppers have probably heard of about 10 of them. The average grocery store shopper might consider themselves lucky if their store sells half that many.
Mother Jones tells us that back in the 1800s, there were literally thousands of unique varieties of apples in the United States. Can you wrap your head around that?
When the industrial revolution hit agriculture, “the apple industry settled on a handful of varieties to promote worldwide.” The rest disappeared…at least as far as retail stores were concerned.
There’s a limit, after all, to how much square footage exists in a produce section. Stores have to balance finite space with sales success. When one apple variety does well, stores stock it. If another doesn’t, they’re less likely to stock it, particularly when a better alternative might be on the way.
So what about this Cosmic Crisp?
Taste of Home, which profiled 15 new apples, describes it as having “the same fresh crunch and sweet-and-tart flavor as Honeycrisp.”
It claims its texture and flavor “definitely make it worth snacking on.”
The Los Angeles Times featured a photo of the apple coated with white kaolin clay to protect it from sunburn.
The Cosmic Crisp looks more like a Red Delicious than just about any other variety I’ve seen lately. And that rich, dark red color is definitely appealing to me.
It’s the first apple ever bred in Washington state.
While only 450,000 40-pound boxes are expected to be available for sale in 2019, the LA Times says that number will likely jump to more than 21 million by 2026, thanks to some aggressive planting.
I hope the demand lives up to that level of supply!