“Our cider is not just another good-tasting cider, it truly captures the essence of fresh SugarBee apples,” she said.
Chelan Fresh is adapting production to respond to strong consumer demand. “We sold out very quickly last fall. That left our partners wanting more,” said DeJarnatt. “So this season we held back fruit in controlled atmosphere storage, so that we could get started on cider earlier this fall.”
When SugarBee apples return to grocery stores in September, consumers will be welcomed with a new tagline, “Oh honey, that’s good!”. DeJarnatt said the update is both strategic and tactical. It signals the variety’s evolving personality, while better evoking the apple’s complex Honeycrisp-inspired flavor profile and the rich honey yellow color of the apple’s flesh.
“I call this a seven-step apple,” she said. “Even the most skeptical consumer gets about seven steps away from our sampling table when it really hits them. They immediately stop in their tracks, turn around and come back for more. They get the initial snap of sweet, then they get the acid, and they realize that this is a really unique apple. We’ve actually had customers tell us, ‘oh honey, that’s a good apple!’”