Macfrut: VOG’s previews of the coming apple season
BOLZANO, May 2023 – From the halls of Macfrut, VOG is already looking ahead to the 2023/2024 apple season. At the Rimini event, the Consortium is outlining its next strategies based on the four elements of the Home of apples structure: origin, expertise, sustainability, and products and brands.
Optimiam for the coming season
The flowering period in the apple orchards of the 4,600 VOG members in South Tyrol – Südtirol, the land of origin of VOG apples, has just ended. In line with previous years, the weather and healthy trees are creating the conditions for a high-quality harvest. There were plenty of nights with sub-zero temperatures, but the use of anti-frost irrigation safeguarded the flowers from frost. Over the next months, growers will continue to monitor the apples’ growth, while hail nets are scheduled to be closed in the coming days.
“Everything is going well so far,” comments Walter Pardatscher, CEO of VOG. “Our fruit growers have successfully managed the flowering period and laid the foundations for availability of high-quality produce throughout the coming season.”
“Product availability is also guaranteed by the fact that almost all of our members’ apple orchards are covered by hail nets,” adds Klaus Hölzl, Sales Manager at VOG, “so our customers can be assured of a stable supply of the apples in our assortment, which are increasingly popular with consumers.”
Tending apple orchards is also a matter of sustainability. For the Consortium, it is not only a matter of preserving the land and environment for future generations, but also of maintaining an economic and social network comprised of many small family businesses.
VOG apple orchards are also equipped to cope with potential water emergencies. Over 70% of cultivations are equipped with drip irrigation, a system that provides the plant with the exact amount of water it needs, resulting in water savings of up to 50%.
The right apple for every need, 12 months a year
VOG’s strengths include its expertise in cultivation, in selecting the most suitable varieties for different soils and in listening to market demands. Thanks to this know-how, today the Consortium offers a wide range covering all 12 months of the year with high-quality apples from both integrated production and organic cultivation.
“Varietal planning is a constant endeavour, partly driven by the foresight of our members,” comments CEO Pardatscher. “In the coming season, we will undoubtedly see a growth of some contract varieties, of the latest novelties – Cosmic Crisp®, Giga® and RedPop® – and of organic, a segment for which we have major development plans.”
With such a broad assortment of products and brands, VOG will also work on differentiation and category management in the coming season. “It is no longer enough for an apple to meet expectations in terms of flavour and quality,” explains Hannes Tauber, Marketing Manager at VOG. “Each brand must convey values with which the consumer can identify, taking a consistent approach that covers all touchpoints, from digital and physical communication channels to the point of sale experience.”
Once again, in 2023/2024, each brand’s communication will therefore follow a distinctive strategy based on its own characteristics and specific positioning.
Marlene®, daughter of the Alps, will be the focus of storytelling that will take the perception of the entire apple category to a new level. The focus will be on the origin and rich aromas that form the character of its varieties, thanks to the aroma wheel and a collaboration with Norbert Niederkofler, recipient of three Michelin stars and the Green Star for sustainability, and four international chefs.
Work will continue on sustainability and the Pink Lady® supply chain. After April’s Bee Pink® initiative dedicated to bee protection, Adopt a tree is back, allowing consumers to adopt their own Pink Lady® tree and meet the producer at harvest time.
Kanzi® will involve the youngest and most dynamic audience. This October’s collaboration with the DeeJay Ten marathon will once again bring Kanzi® to music-loving, active consumers and to the radios of millions of Italians.
Out Of HomeThe envy™ sensory experience will be back on TV, digital and out-of-home channels from November. The commercial creates an unprecedented positioning for the premium apple: an experience that opens the door to a world of pleasure for all the senses. yello® is continuing its positioning as a speciality in the yellow-skin segment, an outstanding product for true connoisseurs, while RedPop® will be presented as the “apple-shaped snack”, a little big treat to take everywhere. Boasting a big size and big flavour, the Giga® apple is perfect for sharing.
After making an impressive appearance at Macfrut, the Cosmic Crisp® hot air balloon will be a central element of next season’s marketing activities, emphasising this apple’s heavenly taste. Next year too, the focus will be on the second half of the season, with major TV and digital campaigns. SweeTango®, the apple that tastes like summer, will star at the beginning of the season, with a return to television, on digital channels, and with a focus on in-store activities.
The Consortium’s strategies for next year also foresee growth in the organic segment. Again, the supply will continually meet the needs of customers and consumers throughout the calendar year. In addition to the Bio Marlene® and Biosüdtirol brand varieties, the VOG assortment includes organic versions of Pink Lady®, Kanzi®, RedPop®, Giga®, Cosmic Crisp®, envy™ and Evelina Bio®.
VOG, Home of apples
The Consortium of South Tyrolean Fruit Growers’ Co-operatives has the right apple for every month ofthe year, grown by both integrated production and organic methods. Founded in 1945, VOG comprises 12 cooperatives with 4,600 family farm members. More than 10 thousand pairs of hands, which bring to bear values such as origin, expertise, sustainability, products and brands in the production of 500 thousand tonnes of high quality apples every year, destined for 75markets worldwide. The assortment includes more than 30 varieties, headed by the Marlene®, Südtiroler Apfel g.g.A., PinkLady®, Kanzi®, envy™, yello®, Jazz™, Joya®, SweeTango®, RedPop®, Giga®, Cosmic Crisp® e Crimson Snow® brands.