New apple variety Cosmic Crisp hits the shelves

Dec 2, 2019, 2:13 PM
cosmic crisp...
(KIRO 7 photo)
(KIRO 7 photo)

By Siemny Kim

A new type of apple that took two decades to make hit store shelves Sunday.

The QFC Market in Seattle’s University Village got the first delivery. It’s called the Cosmic Crisp and it could have an astronomic impact in the world of apples. It’s a cross breed between the Enterprise and the Honeycrisp apples. It got its name from the scattering of little bright spots said to resemble stars in the night sky. Growers are heralding this as more than just an apple.

“It has this blend of juice and flavor and is very crisp that we think is going to change the apple category,” said West Mathison, President of Stemilt Growers in Wenatchee.

QFCs in Bellevue and Kirkland to begin growing produce in-store

The debut is a big moment for hundreds of Washington farmers such as Mathison. The Cosmic Crisp is more than 20 years in the making and was developed at Washington State University. Farmers have been waiting years and invested millions of dollars for the Cosmic Crisp to grow and make it to market.

“I’m a fifth generation farmer. We’ve been growing apples for a long time,” Mathison explained. “Having been partnered with WSU, we were basically testing lots of varieties and this one really rose to the surface after a  lot of years of testing.”

Washington grows 70% of the apples sold in the country but the Cosmic Crisp is the first apple bred in the state. Because of the acidity, the Cosmic Crisp isn’t supposed to brown as quickly as other apples. It also allegedly lasts for up to a year in the fridge.

Shoppers at this University Village QFC are among the first to try it.

“Usually we do a Honeycrisp or a Gala. This has a little more flavor to it, a little more crispness, more sweetness,” said Anthony Martinelli.

Sandra Enger was excited for the new variety. “When I was a kid, the only apple you could buy was a Red Delicious, which are great, nut now we have so many choices,” Enger added.

Seattle area retailers could run out of Christmas trees weeks before holidays

But you’ll have to act fast if you want to get your hands on one. You can expect the Cosmic Crisp in more stores in the coming days.

“Cosmic Crisp is going to be around for around 60 days this year. Next year, it will be more volume and should be around for multiple months,” said Mathison.

Only 450,000 40 pound boxes are available this year. In 2020, there should be more than 2 million boxes and more than 21 million by 2026. Only time will tell if this is the start of a Cosmic takeover of the apple world.

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New apple variety Cosmic Crisp hits the shelves