January 19, 2022 By Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
First bred four decades ago, Happi Pear recently made its North American consumer debut thanks to the combined efforts of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and grower-marketer Stemilt.
The pear traces its origins to the AAFC tree fruit breeding program, now under the auspices of Vineland. Its attributes are highly desired by consumers: firm with sweet, juicy flavour and rosy, yellow-green skin. The tree’s resistance to fire blight, a destructive bacterial disease, and consistent production of large fruit make Happi Pear attractive to growers, too.
Along with encouraging more Canadian growers and consumers to turn to pears as a local fruit choice, there are also hopes this new fruit can help rejuvenate the U.S. pear market, where long-time staple varieties like Bartlett, Bosc and Anjou dominate. Although grower-friendly, these traditional varieties are not novel to consumers who are looking for a different product.
“We haven’t released any branded pears in the U.S., so we’re really excited about this one because it is grower-friendly with unique texture and flavour,” says Brianna Shales, marketing director at Stemilt.
The pear could also shows international commercialization potential. Vineland is working with AAFC, Stemilt and fruit tree producer Associated International Group of Nurseries (AIGN) to move the pear into non-North American markets.
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