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Harvest time for Rave apples is almost here

Now is the time to get Rave apple planning under way for the 2019 season. Stemilt’s communications manager, Brianna Shales, said this year is full of opportunity for retailers to boost apple sales and jump in on the fun with Stemilt’s team to show consumers just how great this new premium apple is.RaveCartonOrchard2

“We’re about six weeks away from the most exciting season yet for our new premium apple brand, Rave,” said Shales. “2019 will be a year of increased volumes, fun consumer marketing activations, and great-tasting Rave apples that will earn rave reviews from shoppers. Retailers should plan for big Rave displays and promotions to jumpstart their apple sales with a fantastic, Honeycrisp-like apple.”  

Rave is among the first apples to ripen in Washington state, and will come off the tree in late July this year. Stemilt expects to start loading the variety in early August. Rave is unlike other first-to-harvest apples as it comes off the tree with full colors and great crunch and flavors thanks to its Honeycrisp and MonArk parentage.

“August is a busy month of promoting summertime fruits in the produce department, and Rave fits surprisingly well with seasonal fruits. It’s a Honeycrisp successor with its infamous fracture and juiciest apple experience ever. Rave is sweet and zingy with an outrageous yet refreshing flavor. Shoppers will rave about it,” said Shales.

Since Rave’s release in 2017, Stemilt has carried out multiple guerilla marketing efforts to share the apple with consumers across the country. Last season, Stemilt had a pop-up store in Manhattan, and this year the company plans to take Rave on the road in an effort to inform and excite consumers and influencers about the new apple brand.

“Rave is the social apple, the one that shoppers will try and rave about,” said Shales. “Our consumer marketing work focuses on delighting and sharing. We’re excited about hitting the road with Rave, and will also be working closely with retail partners to promote Rave in a variety of ways in the stores and cities they will feature this apple in.”

Rave is the brand name for the MN55 cultivar apple and was developed via natural cross-pollination methods over 20 years at the University of Minnesota. David Bedford, the same researcher who developed Honeycrisp and SweeTango apples, is credited with discovering Rave. The apple features a bright fuchsia skin over a yellow background.

“Every year since the launch of Rave has been bigger than the one before, and with more trees coming into production, we’re excited to share more Rave apples with shoppers than ever before. There’s no better way to kick off apple season than with the outrageous Rave apple,” said Shales.