GKE marketing head Myrella Boer (centre) and Adrian Scripps managing director James Simpson (right)
Production and sales of the Kanzi apple continue to rise on a yearly basis, with Spain, the Middle East and the Far East among the strongest growth markets.
Speaking to PBUK at The London Produce Show and Conference, James Simpson from the UK’s license holder Adrian Scripps Ltd said sales were also continually growing across Europe.
He said this was a reflection of both consumer demand and increased production of the Braeburn-Gala cross.
“It’s now in its thirteenth year and the growth has been almost exponential. It’s now the third-largest brand in the world,” Simpson said.
He added there had also been consumer crossover from other apple brands to Kanzi.
“There’s been a large increase in sales in Spain predominantly in the last two seasons, that’s become a much larger market. And also now there’s some significant export through the Middle East and the Far East, so the demand for Kanzi is worldwide,” he said.
“Production in the Southern Hemisphere now means we’ve got product available in Europe 12 months a year, and that obviously means that you can retain the consumer far easier than having a short period of no production in the summer. It’s made a big difference.
“Here in the UK we’re finding that retailers are latching onto it and wanting it 12 months of the year. Major retailers like Tesco and Waitrose and very keen. So we’re very very encouraged.”
There are now also exports into Scandinavian countries but Simpson said there was still much more potential to grow in the region.
Other key target markets for growth include the UK and North Africa.
The apple has been shipped from Europe to the Far East for the last four seasons or so.
Simpson attributed the apple’s success over recent years to its combination of a “striking” appearance and a sweet yet complex flavour.
“This isn’t a tart apple, but it’s not Golden Delicious or Gala. What we’re finding is that balance between that sweet-tart flavour is appealing to a good number of people,” he said.
“It seems the key is the striking appearance of the apple – the colour stands out, and that’s one of the key selling points of Pink Lady. It’s stood on the shelf for many years as the only pink apple.
“What Pink Lady did well and what we believe we’ve managed to do very well is to back up the external appearance of the apple with great eating experience and fantastic flavour. It is the sweet-tart balance and its juiciness that consumers tell us they really love.”
He said production was strongest in the Netherlands and Germany, followed by Italy.
In terms of the Southern Hemisphere, the bulk of production currently comes from South Africa, but there is also production in Chile, New Zealand and Australia, although the latter only produces for the domestic market for now.
Simpson anticipated strong growth from the Southern Hemisphere countries as well as Europe and North America over the coming years.