New Zealand's two big apple growers have just launched the country's sweetest apple to the Asian markets, with first shipments arriving in China this week.
The new Posy apple is becoming popular in China as there is a demand for higher colour and sweeter apples.
Bostock New Zealand and Mr Apple have teamed up to exclusively grow and market Posy apples.
Bostock New Zealand owner John Bostock said it's very exciting to finally have enough volume to export as the apple has taken about 20 years to develop.
"We wanted to breed an apple which would be ready early for our Asian market. The Posy apple is harvested early February and ahead of most other New Zealand apple varieties," Bostock said.
He said the new apple was bred in Havelock North by apple breeder David Cranwell who has been in the industry for 50 years.
"David saw the potential for a pink, sweet apple for the Asian market, so we have worked together with Mr Apple to create New Zealand's sweetest apple," Bostock said.
The Posy apple's parents are New Zealand Rose and Royal Gala. Both are strong flavoured apples bred in New Zealand.
"Teaming up with Mr Apple to exclusively grow this new apple variety means we can offer to a wide range of customers throughout the market and take advantage of each grower's strengths and especially our organic experience and offering," Bostock said.
"This is the first year we have had any reasonable volumes of Posy to export and it's great to be able to offer apples that are specifically tailored to the Asian palate."
Steve Potbury of Fruitcraft said it's an exciting time for the industry to have 20 years of development finally come to fruition.
"I'm really excited to see the expansion of the market in China and to have a new apple like Posy it's great for it to succeed in the market like it has, especically when it has taken nearly 20 years to get to this stage," Potbury said.
Fruitcraft look to introduce and evaluate apple and pear varieties from New Zealand and the world and take the best of those on to successful production, marketing and sales.
The China market is still small for Bostock New Zealand and awareness of the organic category is developing.
Bostock said new, exciting varieties are appealing in Asia and are helping grow the market there.
"Developing exclusive, high quality apple varieties has been a big focus for Bostock New Zealand over recent years," Bostock said.
"Our Asian customers are really excited about the oncoming new varieties we have."
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Posy apples have been declared New Zealand's sweetest apple with its pinky, red coloured skin.
Its juicy and delicate flesh has a hint of a peachy fragrance from the fruit.
But don't expect to be able to get a fresh Posy as you go down to the shops, as the apple is one of the first to be picked in early February and there won't be many left.