KIKU® is a red sport of Fuji. Sports are natural mutations which occasionally arise when a new shoot starts to grow from the main stem or branch of a tree. This happens in many types of plants, and can affect the blossom, leaves or fruit, which may look somewhat different on that branch from the rest of the tree. Apple growers favour sports which cause the fruit to be better coloured than the original variety, and the most famous sport is probably Red Delicious, a redder-colored mutation of the original Delicious apple. Sports usually differ only in visual appearance, and the flavour and growing characteristics are generally the same or very similar to the original variety.
Kiku was discovered in 1990 by Luis Braun, an Italian fruit grower who was touring an orchard of Fuji apples in Japan, and noticed a branch on one tree had different-looking apples. He went on to propagate examples in Italy and eventually created the KIKU® trademark.