MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - University of Minnesota researchers have high hopes for a new apple they say shares some qualities with their popular Honeycrisp variety.

That's no surprise since the new fruit is a cross between the Honeycrisp and the MonArk. The Honeycrisp is known for its texture and flavor, while the MonArk is known for its early ripening date.

The goal of the new apple, which is dubbed MN55 for now, is to bring a crisper variety to market earlier.

The research team began working on the apple in the late 1990s. Now it's beginning to enter the early marketing stage with the hope of growing and distributing it on a wider scale.

Apple orchards are already able to grow and sell MN55. It's expected to hit grocery stores nationwide within the next few years.