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New Sunrise Magic apple variety available across the US

It usually takes about two decades to bring a new apple cultivar to market. With universities and private breeding programs trying to speed up the process, new varieties are launched fairly often nowadays. An example of a new variety is the WA 2 cultivar that was bred in 1994 and released for test in 2009. “Proprietary Variety Management (PVM) was licensed to assist with the commercial management of the WA 2 cultivar in 2014. A few years later, in 2018, commercial plantings began under the Sunrise Magic® brand,” says Kevin Brandt with PVM.

WA 2 was bred by Dr. Bruce Barritt at Washington State University. The Sunrise Magic brand apple comes from the world-famous breeding program within Washington State. In addition to Sunrise Magic, Barritt also bred Cosmic Crisp® before retiring from the University.

Build a global brand
The variety is a cross between Splendour and Gala and for North America, it is exclusively grown in Washington state. Outside North America, there are plantings in Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. “We also have a licensee in South Africa who will be planting in the next couple of years,” said Brandt. In addition, trial trees have been planted in the European Union, Argentina, South Korea, India, as well as China. “We are actively looking to build the brand in growing regions around the world and develop the Sunrise Magic tradename into a global brand,” said Brandt. To protect the investment of the Washington growers, no product is able to come into North America. However, some licensees do have the option to ship to license specific territories out of their country.

In the United States, Sunrise Magic is currently only available from January 1 until roughly May 15. “As production will grow, we expect the window of availability to grow as well,” commented Brandt. The variety is unique from other apple varieties as it is not sensitive to bruising. In addition, it sustains a high sheen for a number of weeks after polishing without wax. “The apple has excellent storage characteristics, storing for six months in regular storage and 12 months in controlled atmosphere without the need for 1-MCP.”

According to PVM’s licensed marketing desks, the variety is currently available at Jewel Osco in Chicago, Yokes in Washington, Oakes Markets in Florida, Tony’s Fresh Markets in Chicago, Woodmans in Wisconsin, Hen House in Kansas City, Grocery Outlet in San Diego, and various Trader Joe’s stores. 

Sunrise Magic at a Trader Joe's store.

For more information:
Kevin Brandt
Proprietary Variety Management
Tel: (+1) 509-248-4315