A multimillion dollar marketing campaign. Fans awaiting any news with bated breath. Near-instantaneous sellouts. We all know the drill by now when it comes to an Apple product launch. Seattle recently saw that process unfold for a similarly revolutionary and finely-engineered product. Except in this case, it was for a literal apple.
That’s not a joke: this month marks the long-anticipated debut of the Cosmic Crisp, a new and rare apple variety grown in the state of Washington, America’s epicenter for apple production. The recent release of a new apple variety called Cosmic Crisp has apple fans in the Seattle area going crazy. According to local news, the 400,000 Cosmic Crisps harvested this year have been selling like wildfire in local supermarkets, and anyone who misses out will have to wait until next year.
So what exactly is a Cosmic Crisp, and what makes it so coveted? Essentially, it’s a cross-breeding of Enterprise and Honey Crisp apple varieties, combining both into a superior apple that features a “perfect flavor, crisp texture, juicy interior, [and] striking texture” as that launch video (which looks more suited for selling business software than actual fruit) indicates.
The Cosmic Crisp isn’t some quick mashup to cash in on the Honey Crisp’s price and popularity, either. The Seattle Met says horticulturist Bruce Barrit first dreamed up the idea 22 years ago, breeding varieties at Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center. Finally, more than a decade after his work was taken over by WSU professor Kate Evans, the project to create an apple officially dubbed “WA 38” has finally borne fruit.
Beyond the long-term R&D effort, the launch of Cosmic Crisp registers as a significant event because it’s the first apple variety to be developed and bred within Washington. Until now, every other apple grown in the Pacific Northwest state responsible for more than two-thirds of America’s total fresh apple supply have had their origin somewhere else.
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The fact that Washington finally has an apple to call its own probably explains the big marketing push. And with the state’s apple growers still contending with retaliatory tariffs that bite into their export opportunities, creating a new market for a valuable apple could be a big boost.
While the Cosmic Crisp is a rare commodity now, it seems like that won’t be the case for too long. Production should be able to ramp up quickly in future growing seasons, and the plan is to put 10 million boxes of the space-age apple on sale by 2023.
So in the future, skip the Apple iPhone and get a Cosmic Crisp instead. I mean, who needs three cameras when you’ve got one really tasty apple?