SOURCE: Next Big Thing

Next Big Thing

August 12, 2011 11:00 ET

SweeTango® Apple Crop Triples in 2011

Highly Anticipated Honeycrisp Offspring to Be Widely Available in September; Register to Win "An Apple A Day, The SweeTango Way"

LAKE CITY, MN--(Marketwire - Aug 12, 2011) - Excitement has been building for years for new SweeTango® apples and there will be a lot more to bite into this fall -- possibly three times as many as 2010. A cross between the popular Honeycrisp™ and Zestar!™ varieties, SweeTango® began gracing store shelves in limited quantities in 2009.

This year, apple lovers can visit sweetango.com to register for a chance to win "An Apple A Day, The SweeTango Way." Two lucky winners, one from the U.S. and one from Canada, will receive a season's worth of SweeTango apples (approximately four dozen) -- a surefire way to get your "apple a day"!

SweeTango is an early season apple that will begin hitting retailer shelves shortly after Labor Day. Consumers can visit Facebook.com/SweeTango to find out about availability in their area.

SweeTango®'s satisfying crunch and complex flavor deliver 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 gave us the Honeycrisp released SweeTango® after more than a decade in development. The new apple is 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.

"As with any new variety, the volume of apples produced in the early years can be a bit unpredictable," said Dennis Courtier, director of Next Big Thing, A Growers' Cooperative. "The trees are still young, but they have matured to a point where we are able to expand distribution nationally."

"SweeTango® is unlike anything most people have ever tasted and we're happy that more apple lovers across the country will be able to enjoy it this year," adds Courtier.

Apples like SweeTango don't come along very often, said David Bedford, University of Minnesota apple breeder and a key contributor in the development of SweeTango®, Honeycrisp and Zestar!

"It can take 30 years and 10,000 attempts to find a great-tasting apple," Bedford said. "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 licensed growers can produce the fruit. Beginning this fall, apple lovers can purchase SweeTango® online at sweetango.com. The website, and Facebook (Facebook.com/SweeTango) and Twitter (@SweeTango) pages, also will have updated information on where consumers can find this great new apple in their area.

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. Also follow @SweeTango on Twitter.

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!

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

Editor's note: Hi-res photos available at http://sweetango.com/media/high-resolution-photos/

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