SweeTango Apples Available In Select Markets In 2009

Highly anticipated Honeycrisp offspring tough to find but limited quantities available at select retailers and farm markets

LAKE CITY, Minn., September 9, 2009 ­–– A much sought-after new apple being sold under the name SweeTango® will be available in limited volumes at select retailers and farm markets in the Midwest, Northeast and Pacific Northwest. SweeTango® is expected to be sold nationwide in 2010.

A cross between Honeycrisp™ and Zestar!™varieties, SweeTango®’s satisfying “crunch” and complex flavor promise a superior apple-eating experience. Both sweet and tart with hints of fall spices, SweeTango®’s flavor, balanced by vibrant acidity, dances to a long and satisfying finish on the palate.

The same apple breeders who released the Honeycrisp developed SweeTango® after more than a decade in development. The new apple will be grown and marketed by Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative – a unique partnership of some of the most respected family-owned orchards in North America.

“It can take 30 years and 10,000 attempts to find a great-tasting apple,” said David Bedford, University of Minnesota apple breeder and key contributor in the development of SweeTango®, Honeycrisp and Zestar! “Consumers who have tried SweeTango® are telling us we’ve found something special with this new apple, specifically citing its complex flavor combination as a key attribute that sets this apple-eating experience apart from any other.”

The name SweeTango® was chosen to reflect the harmonious flavor combination you experience upon first bite. The distinctive crispness and complex flavors of the apple promise to make it an immediate consumer favorite.

Harvested early in the growing season, SweeTango® is a managed apple variety, which means only select, licensed growers can produce the fruit.

“Next Big Thing members are excited to start sharing SweeTango® apples with the world,” said Dennis Courtier, director of Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative. “SweeTango® is unlike anything most people have ever tasted and we look forward to making it available for retail sale nationally in 2010.”

“We promise, it will be worth the wait,” adds Courtier.

About Next Big Thing

Headquartered in Lake City, Minn., Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative is a 45-member cooperative of family growers, spread over five time zones from Nova Scotia to Washington State, that will grow and market managed varieties of apples, beginning with SweeTango®. You can find more information on SweeTango® at www.sweetango.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sweetango.

About the U of M Apple Breeding Program

In 1908 the University of Minnesota created the Fruit Breeding Farm, now known as the Horticultural Research Center, on 80 acres near Victoria, Minn. Over the next century the farm grew to become the center of fruit research and breeding, particularly for northern climates. Apple varieties that have been named and released by the University include Fireside, Haralson, Honeygold and, more recently, Honeycrisp and Zestar!

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*SweeTango is a registered trademark of the University of Minnesota for fruit of the Minneiska cultivar