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Old relationships bring new apple varieties to Oppenheimer

The Oppenheimer Group has been synonymous with New Zealand apples and pears for over 60 years. But 2012 will have more flavor than ever, thanks to new partnerships with old friends.

ENZA, the owner of premium varieties Jazz and Envy apples, will continue to play a pivotal role in Oppenheimer’s approach of supplying leading varieties to the North American market year round, while fruit from other growers will complement this partnership, according to John Envy-hero-2Anderson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Vancouver, BC-based Oppenheimer.

“This spring we will see several varieties unique to the Heartland Group of Nelson, New Zealand, added to the portfolio of new tastes that Oppenheimer offers,” Mr. Anderson said in a May 9 press release. Cutting-edge varieties Divine, Smitten, Tentation and Eve are among the newcomers. “Together with ENZA Jazz and Envy apples, we are in a position to offer retailers the opportunity to set new expectations about apples in the minds of consumers. By reserving a slot for new varieties, our customers can rotate the newest flavors from April through October, when fresh-crop Jazz, Pacific Rose and Envy return to the market.”

If this line-up wasn’t enough, Oppenheimer marketed more of the remarkable new Honey Belle pear available from KiwiCrunch of New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay this year, according to David Nelley, Oppenheimer’s apple and pear category director. “In 2011, we experienced good success with trials of this diminutive, super-sweet, crunchy pear in Canada, and we have been building on that this spring in both the U.S. and Canada,” he said.

With New Zealand’s cool summer, supplies of good quality, large-sized Royal Gala are short, but Oppenheimer has partnered up with Pick Mee, a family-owned grower-packer, to add horsepower to retail programs.

“Fruit bred specifically for flavor and keeping quality adds excitement to the apple category during summertime,” Mr. Nelley said in the press release. “We have known the growers behind Pick Mee and Heartland for many years and are excited to be working with them once again.”