WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — Developed in a lab, trademarked and focus-group tested, apple growers in the nation's top producing state are preparing to introduce a brand new apple variety.

But as the first "Cosmic Crisp" trees are planted next year, the new apple highlights a changing industry, where major growers have moved away from relying on few varieties of apples for their income.

Rather, many are diversifying their orchards, aiming to cash in on the premium prices of licensed niche apples, and creating competition among breeders to develop the next big flavorful apple.

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