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Rockit apples are noticeably smaller than most other varieties—about the size of a golf ball. The skin has a red blush and the flesh is crunchy and sweet.
Rockit apples are available beginning in the spring.
The Rockit Apple is a variety of Malus domestica that has been bred for its tiny size. The small size is a result of their crab apple parentage. These apples come pre-washed and pre-packaged in plastic cylinders of three to five. Rockit apples are a new introduction to the market, but are becoming more common as more trees come into production.
The company that grows Rockits chose to market apples as a healthy snack for a reason. Apples are low in calories but high in nutritious vitamins and minerals. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, along with Vitamin C and small amounts of calcium, potassium, and Vitamin A.
This apple was developed specifically as a snack food. Their small size and packaging is meant to appeal to consumers who want a healthy, on-the-go alternative to processed snacks like candy. Unlike other small apples that may be unripe, these are ready to eat as is. Part of the Rockit apple's appeal is that it stores for a long period of time, making it easier to market to stores selling convenience food.
Rockit apples are targeted to people who want a snack-size apple on the go, tapping into the popularity of the fresh fruit in the United States especially among kids. A recent study showed that apples make up almost 19 percent of fruit consumption by young people age 2 to 19.
New Zealand company Plant and Food Research first developed the tiny apples now known as Rockits. Havelock North Fruit Company bought the rights to the apple in 2002, and brought it market a few years later. The number of Rockits being sold is growing fast. In 2013, 3000 tubes of Rockits were produced; 24,000 tubes were produced in 2014, and the company projects 200,000 by 2016. Rockit apples are sold in eighteen countries, but are only grown by one company per country. In the United States, they are grown exclusively by Chelan Fresh in Washington state.
People have spotted Rockit Apples using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.