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CMI Orchards Celebrates Large KIKU® Apples Launch

CMI Orchards Celebrates Large KIKU® Apples Launch

WENATCHEE, WA – The wait is over for those longing for their KIKU® apples! CMI Orchards announced that the brand apples have shown up in numbers, with a strong harvest completed and ready for retail. Growers of the variety stationed in Washington, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are expecting a bountiful year ahead. When CMI looked at this year’s solid harvest, it projected a 49 percent climb in volume this coming year for the coveted apple variety.

George Harter, Vice President of Marketing, CMI Orchards

“We’re ready to grow retail sales of KIKU®,” said George Harter, Vice President of Marketing for CMI Orchards, in a recent press release. “We’re excited about a big increase because we know KIKU is one of a small handful of branded apples that have a strong following with consumers. When you look at the popularity of KIKU, it’s clear this apple has made a mark with consumers.”

KIKU® Apples

According to Harter, Nielsen scan data shows that KIKU shines as the 6th bestselling branded apples in the category. While this is a drop from last year’s number 5 slot, Harter reckons that was due to last year’s shorter crop.

“The short crop last year slowed us down just as we were starting to leverage growing KIKU demand by consumers. Well, KIKU is back, and we’re ready to get retail promotions going with our customers.”

KIKU® Apples pouch

The promotions aren’t the only thing sweet around here. According to CMI's press release, field tests prove the soluble solids, or sugars, in KIKU make it one of the sweetest varieties of apples, with KIKU’s typical 17 percent Brix, or even higher, to cater to consumers seeking its distinctive taste. To create a comparison, the company explains that Honeycrisp has a 13 percent Brix, and Fuji comes in at 15 percent Brix. For those looking for the sweeter varieties when moseying through the produce aisle, KIKU is a great option.

CMI isn't the only company reaping the rewards KIKU has to offer. Pennsylvania-based Rice Fruit Company has a KIKU brand apples license and is expecting a solid crop.

Brenda Briggs, VP of Marketing, Rice Fruit Company

“We’re up from last year on KIKU®,” says Brenda Briggs, Vice President of Marketing at Rice Fruit Company. “The good news we’re hearing from our horticultural team is that our KIKU again have exceptionally sweet flavor. For weeks we have been getting emails from consumers eager to get their first of the season KIKU, so we’re excited to get started. The enthusiasm we hear back from retailers really makes selling KIKU fun.”

Another U.S. company, midwest-stationed Applewood Orchards, Inc., also has good KIKU news to share, as Scott Swindeman, Vice President of Applewood Orchards, reports its KIKU’s excellent crop to be one of the best the orchards has produced.

Scott Swindeman, Vice President, Applewood Orchards

“We really have a nice KIKU crop this year,” said Swindeman. The flavor and color are outstanding with a good range of sizes, so we’re prepared to meet the needs of all of our retail partners.”

The successful trifecta of KIKU-producing orchards stationed throughout the country is the reason for its rapid growth and popularity, Harter stated. On top of the tireless efforts made at these orchards to procure KIKU’s success, there is a large import program from New Zealand to establish the variety during summer months.

KIKU® Apples

“KIKU® has essentially become a year-round branded apple performer for a number of retailers. Last year more than 12,500 supermarkets sold KIKU with great success. With a bigger crop we’re excited about the opportunity to get this fantastic apple in the hands of a lot more consumers.”

With so much pointed energy spent on the production, promotion, and sales of the sought-after apple variety, how will this year’s abundant harvest pan out for CMI Orchards? AndNowUKnow will continue to keep you informed with the latest!

CMI Orchards Rice Fruit Company Applewod Orchards

Companies in this Story

Applewood Orchards

Applewood Orchards is committed to business relationships that nurture a spirit of partnership that enables our company to...

CMI Orchards

CMI Orchards is one of Washington State’s largest growers, shippers, and packers of premium quality apples, pears,...

Rice Fruit Company

Rice Fruit Company is the largest apple-packing facility in the Eastern half of the United States. Situated in the heart...