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CMI rolls out Ambrosia apples in record numbers

Columbia Marketing International Inc., a leading grower and distributor of more than a dozen apple varieties, is rolling out Ambrosia apples in record numbers nationally, showing that consumers increasingly favor up-and-coming varieties over the legacy apples.Ambrosia.jpg

With a name that means "Food of the Gods," Ambrosia apples live up to this name by offering a naturally sweet, honeyed flavor and crisp texture that consistently performs well in taste tests. Despite being a newer upstart in the apple cart, Ambrosia is quickly on its way to becoming a Top 10 apple variety.

Supported by strong consumer demand, Ambrosia orchards in Washington state are likely to double or even triple production over the next decade.

"The growth potential for Ambrosia is outstanding," Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for Wenatchee, WA-based CMI and former chief executive officer for the Washington Apple Commission, said in a press release. "It's such an excellent apple that is continuing to build a loyal consumer following as more people discover just how good it tastes."

Lutz also noted that the rise of Ambrosia is consistent with a new wave of modern shoppers who are seeking distinct flavor profiles among the dozens of apple varieties found at an average grocery store.

In the past, many of the legacy apples that have traditionally dominated the Top 10 have landed there for reasons secondary to taste, primarily red color or other cosmetic factors.

Since color is not a primary factor, Ambrosia apples can be harvested at the peak of maturity based on starch and sugar levels. This ensures that Ambrosia will delight consumers while meeting the highest quality standards. Perfect for snacking, baking or enjoying with wine and cheese, these apples are incredibly versatile with their creamy flesh and sweet, honey-like flavor.

Unlike most other modern types of apples, which were purposefully cultivated by crossing two varieties, Ambrosia originated the natural way, as a chance seedling in an orchard. The taste, texture and color proved to be both high-quality and unique, and orchard's pickers showed exceptional enthusiasm for it, so the seedling was cultivated.

The process of delivering a new apple to the market is lengthy, requiring about five to seven years to yield a robust crop. Now, after about 10 years of cultivation here in the United States, Ambrosia apples are available at leading supermarkets nationwide.