On April 20, 2015 the first ever Cosmic Crisp Industry Marketing Advisory Board meeting was held in Ellensburg, Washington to discuss the latest apple output from the Washington State University (WSU), WA 38. There gathered some of the most successful, consumer-focused marketing and sales groups in the Washington State apple industry from Chelan, Wenatchee and Yakima. Robert Kershaw, President of Domex Superfresh Growers of Yakima, Washington, was chosen to be the leader of this Advisory Board because of his passion to unite the growers to make Cosmic Crisp the new iconic Washington State brand of apples.
“Washington State is world renowned for high quality apples and now we have an apple that came out of the Washington State University Breeding Program that shows amazing promise. That’s something the whole industry can get behind,” says Kershaw. “The fact that it will be exclusive to Washington State growers in the US for at least 10 years is a huge selling point to the growers.”
That initial Advisory Board meeting discussed the overview of some of the things that WSU and PVM will need important industry guidance on such as trademark quality standards, ongoing consumer research, planting and production projections, licensing, branding and package designs, and common marketing themes for the Cosmic Crisp brand.
The first members of the Advisory Board are Robert Kershaw of Domex Superfresh Growers, Mike Taylor of Stemilt Growers, Andy Tudor of Rainier Fruit, Bruce Turner from Oneonta, Tom Riggin from Chelan Fresh, and Katharine Grove from CMI. Since that first meeting, PVM has reached out to other Marketing and Sales groups to include them in the next meetings. These new members include Steve Clement from Sage Fruit, Steve Smith of Yakima Fresh, Eric Borton of Borton Fruit, Jim Hazen of First Fruits, as well as some other interested parties.