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Demand for imported KIKU® apples looks strong

CMI, a Washington state grower-shippers of premium-quality conventional and organic apples, pears and cherries, has started its import season for the exotic KIKU® apple variety. Once the imported KIKU® apples are gone, customers will have to wait until the new domestic crop is available next fall.

"It has been exciting to watch both our production of the KIKU® grow as well as the loyal following we are seeing from consumers,” photokikuU.S. demand for the KIKU® apple has grown each year that it has been in production — since 2008.Bob Mast, CMI vice president of marketing, said in a press release. “We contribute a great deal of our success to our retail partners who are sharing the KIKU® apple in demos at their stores and allowing people to see for themselves that this quite possibly may be the sweetest apple they have ever tasted."

New packaging with the flavor profile for the KIKU® apple has supported the growing following and distribution for this apple. This past season CMI released a new two-pound grab-and-go pouch bag that came with smaller snack-size apples. This smaller two-pound bag enables consumers to try the KIKU® without the sticker shock as the bags can be retailed at comparable prices for three-pound bags of conventional fruit. With the success of this pouch for retailers, these two-pound pouches will be available for the imported KIKU® program.

This is a limited-production apple and is not available all year. CMI, like many other growers, continues to expand its orchards, and yield will continue to increase each year. These expansion efforts, along with its partnership with New Zealand KIKU® growers, extend retail possibilities later into the season.