Prognosfruit 2021

To comply with the current COVID-19 restrictions, Prognosfruit 2021 will be taking place as an online conference on 5 August 2021. Registrations are now open and stakeholders and journalists are welcome to register via the Prognosfruit website.

Last year, the Prognosfruit 2020 organisers regretfully announced the cancellation of the event, scheduled to take place in Belgrade (Serbia), due to the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the success of last year’s online version of Prognosfruit and to comply with the current COVID-19 restrictions, Prognosfruit 2021 will also take place as an online conference, with Belgrade still scheduled to be the location of the first in-person edition of Prognosfruit when COVID-measures so allow. Registrations for Prognosfruit 2021 Online Conference are now open.

Since 1976, Prognosfruit has released the annual forecast of apple and pear production for the upcoming season. This year the resource booklet with the forecast of production for apples and pears will be released during the online Zoom conference, which will take place on 5 August 2021 from 09:30 to 12:45 CEST. The event will feature:

  • the forecast for apples and pears by WAPA Secretary General Philippe Binard;
  • EU apple and pear market outlook 2021 by Helwig Schwartau (AMI);
  • Other apple market perspectives: processing, organic and international;
  • two panel discussions, one for apples and one for pears.

The draft programme of Prognosfruit 2021 Online Conference and the online registration form to attend the conference are both available on the Prognosfruit website. Registrations will close on Friday 30 July 2021 at 12:00 CEST.

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The Marlene® nymph decorates 150,000 bags across Europe

The Marlene® nymph decorates 150,000 bags across Europe
Press Release

Shopping bags with the new Marlene® image distributed to the best wholesalers and retail chains.

Marlene®’s new look will accompany thousands of consumers’ shopping trips throughout Europe. Starting in February, the “Marlene® nymph”, the work chosen to represent the VOG Consortium’s brand for Marlene®’s 25th anniversary, has been printed on over 150,000 shopping bags distributed in the main European countries where Marlene® apples are sold.

“The beautiful work that won our art competition turned the shopping bag into a desirable item. As well as being a useful and sustainable gift, this shopping bag is also chic and elegant, ideal for Marlene® consumers’ daily shopping trips,” comments Hannes Tauber, Marketing Manager at the VOG Consortium. “We began distributing it in South Tyrol – Südtirol, in the VOG cooperatives’ shops, as a free gift for those who bought Marlene® apples on Mother’s Day. We also organised opportunities to distribute it and reach our distributors all over Europe.

The Marlene® nymph, created by Italian artist Francesca Cito, is the work selected from the 6,000 participants in the international art competition to celebrate Marlene®’s 25th anniversary, which involved 36 countries around the world. Surrounded by apple orchards and with a radiant, dreamy face, the winning work represents the Marlene® world and the Alpine landscape where the apples are grown.

In the year of the celebrations, until July 2021, the illustration will define Marlene®’s look on stickers, packs and all promotional materials such as shopping bags, bringing a burst of colour and beauty to points of sale.

In April and May, the joyous shopping bag was sent to several Marlene® customers in Italy in the wholesale and large-scale distribution markets. Wholesalers in Spain and Benelux were targeted, while in Jordan the focus was on fruit and vegetable markets and retail shops. In Malta, initiatives have focused on greengrocers and supermarkets.

“This is a small gift that our customers can give to consumers,” concludes Hannes Tauber. “It is one of the many promotional activities that we are conducting to mark Marlene®’s 25th anniversary. The goal is to bring art closer to people, into their daily lives to kindle the spark of creativity and taste. Marlene® is not just any apple, but the daughter of the Alps, and its flavour can transport consumers’ imagination to the mountains, where it grows firm and succulent.”


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Fanfare greets launch of Dazzle apples in China

Fanfare greets launch of Dazzle apples in China © Dazzle

© Dazzle


New Zealand’s newest apple variety Dazzle has arrived in China with large celebrations at wholesale markets as importers and retailers race to get a taste. It’s the first year that there have been large volumes of Dazzle apples available for Chinese customers and they weren’t wasting any time to get their hands on the delicious, red, sweet apple from New Zealand.

Joy Wing Mau’s International Buyer Li Bin was involved in the launches at Guangzhou and Shanghai wholesale markets and says it is very exciting to have access to larger volumes of Dazzle Apples for Chinese consumers this year. “We are so happy and very excited to introduce Dazzle apples. Dazzle is a variety which we know has been specifically developed for the Asia market, with its sweet, crunchy and delicious taste, as well as good storability. There is a strong brand and it’s great to be part of a successful launch which will help us promote Dazzle to Chinese consumers. We value our strong relationship with New Zealand apple growers and suppliers,” said Bin.

© Dazzle


The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Trade Commissioner, Pete Frost presented at the celebrations and cut the ribbon, officially launching Dazzle apples to the China market, saying New Zealand’s apple industry is rated the best in the world. “New Zealand apple growers are agile and innovative. They use world-leading science and technology to deliver to ever-changing customer demands. The New Zealand horticulture industry is investing in new varieties, which are earning premium prices in the global marketplace,” said Frost.

Dazzle Apples were developed over 20 years by Plant and Food Research – a New Zealand Government Crown Research Institute. They are exclusively available from a selected group of exporters and are set to be one of the most popular and largest volume apples coming from New Zealand.

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Marlene®: an intense international TV, digital and social media campaign gets underway

Marlene®: an intense international TV, digital and social media campaign gets underway

The new image, the winner of the digital contest, features in an extensive multi-channel communication campaign in 11 countries.

(Bolzano, 6 April 2021) The celebrations for the 25th anniversary of Marlene® apples, the flagship brand of the Italian VOG Consortium, are continuing with an intense multi-channel advertising campaign involving countries such as Italy, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Libya, Jordan, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. 

Following the success of the international digital contest launched last autumn, which attracted 6000 entries from 36 countries, the winning artwork representing Marlene® apples will star in this second part of the season and will also be featured in TV commercials and the digital campaign in the spring.

“This is a truly important international communication campaign,” comments Hannes Tauber, Marketing Manager at the VOG Consortium. “We will be present in over 10 countries in the second half of the season with dedicated campaigns to further enhance Marlene®’s important 25th anniversary. The various channels will put the spotlight on the winning work, ‘Ninfa Marlene®’ (Marlene® the Nymph) by Francesca Cito, who offered a stylish and imaginative interpretation of the places where our apples are cultivated. The new Marlene® look, already featured on packs and stickers, is now also the star of our advertising campaign.”

On TV and digital channels, Marlene® apples are back with the famous commercial “Marlene®, daughter of the Alps” in a special new version dedicated to the 25-year anniversary, in both 15- and 20-second formats. Meanwhile, the social media channels will be animated with 25 exciting stories about South Tyrolean producers and Marlene® apples in an internationally coordinated campaign that will end on 2 May.

Moreover, in Italy, some of the finalist images from the digital contest have been used to decorate public transport in Milan, bringing a touch of colour and charm to the city streets.

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Strong year of growth ahead for Rockit Global

Strong year of growth ahead for Rockit Global
Photo: Mark O´Donnell, Chief Executive Officer of Rockit Global

Rockit Global Limited, the progressive New Zealand fruit company marketing miniature Rockit™ apples worldwide, says it’s looking at a bumper season, producing apples of outstanding quality, flavour and colour. Chief Executive Officer Mark O’Donnell says the company expects 2021 sales to topple all previous records, as Rockit continues its steep global growth trajectory. “We’ve enjoyed very good growing conditions this year which, combined with significant improvements on our orchards, has set us up for what looks like a very successful season,” he says. “We’re up 65% on 2020 volume and the quality is excellent – great flavour and sweetness, with dry matter content and brix very close to what we saw last season. Add to that the fact that Rockit demand has always exceeded supply, and we think it’s safe to assume 2021 will be our biggest season yet.” Despite the significant challenges wrought by Covid-19, O’Donnell says Rockit™ sales have been exceptional, feeding consumer demand for food safety and secure supply chain management. “All our markets are growing rapidly,” he says. “Greater China, Vietnam and South East Asia generally remain our priority export territories, with the Middle East also in growth.”Rockit apples are now grown in 10 countries globally, O’Donnell points out, enabling uninterrupted supply to key markets. Mid-year, Rockit will open its state of the art global headquarters, packhouse and coolstore in Hastings, New Zealand. “It’s a huge investment, but one that will help us improve efficiencies through leading digital innovation and AI, and manage environmental impacts.”

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Joya®, a season full of promises

Joya®, a season full of promises © Joya Europe team

© Joya Europe team


The 2020/2021 season promises to be exceptional for the Joya® apple, with an estimated production potential of 8,300 tons (nearly +27% vs. the previous year) and remarkable product qualities (intensity of colouring, sugar level, aromas, firmness).

The JOYA® production chain in Europe has been undergoing a revival since 2018 and the 2021 season marks the start of the commercial activity of 6 new authorised distributors: Apofruit, Unacoa Salvi, Cico Mazzoni, Granfrutta Zani and VOG in Italy as well as Costa Brava Giropoma in Spain.

On the production side, the arrival of 350 new producers will bring the total planted area to 750 hectares by 2023, for a potential under the Joya® brand of 22,000 tonnes by 2025.

Crunchy, tangy and sweet, the Joya® apple has remarkable organoleptic advantages. The very last apple to be harvested (mid-November) and with very good shelf life, Joya® has all the advantages of a second half of the season apple, an alternative offering many competitive advantages over imports from southern hemisphere.

To support this dynamic, recruiting and strengthening brand awareness is the priority this new season.

The “Joya® creates joy” communication platform is reinforced by capitalizing on the organoleptic qualities of apples to position the brand on tones of energy, impertinence, uninhibited enthusiasm and… joy! The main part of the communication will be digital with the development of an Italian version of the website, a speech that is both offbeat and informative on social networks and the recruitment of influencers in 3 priority markets that are the France, Germany and Ireland.

On the point of sale side, more than 1,000 days of animation are planned in supermarkets and wholesale markets to introduce people to the apple and will be supplemented by trade operations to boost the presence of the in-store apple.

Another strategic development for this season, Joya® is launching its new eco-designed packaging range at the start of the season and echoes the brand’s enduring values. The trays will be recyclable or compostable, with FSC certified cardboard from sustainably managed forests.

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WAPA presents annual Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast

WAPA presents annual Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast
Photo: WAPA

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has released the Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop production forecast for the upcoming season. According to the forecast, which consolidates the data from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa, apple production is estimated to increase by 6% in 2021 compared to the previous year, while pear production is projected to stabilise.

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has released its 2021 apple and pear crop estimate for the Southern Hemisphere. This report has been compiled with the support of ASOEX (Chile), CAFI (Argentina), ABPM (Brazil), Hortgro (South Africa), APAL (Australia) and New Zealand Apples and Pears, and therefore provides consolidated data from the six leading Southern Hemisphere countries. WAPA’s Secretary General Philippe Binard commented on the usefulness of gathering the insights from these major producers: “Elaborating this collective data has previously proved a valuable exercise for the global apple and pear industry and a reliable source of information when the season progressively shifts from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere.”

Regarding apples, the aggregate Southern Hemisphere 2021 crop forecast  suggests an increase of 6% (5 million tons) compared to last year (4.8 million tons), with increases in Australia, Brazil, and South Africa of 23%, 20% and 6% respectively, a decrease in New Zealand of 5%, and stable figures in Argentina and Chile. The aggregate increased by 2% compared to the average of crops between 2018 and 2020. Chile remains the largest Southern Hemisphere apple producer in 2021 with 1.5 million tons, with Brazil in second place (1.1 million tons), followed by South Africa (1 million tons), Argentina (617 million tons), New Zealand (547 million tons), and Australia (271 million tons). 

Gala remains the main variety (39%), followed by Fuji (14%) and Red Delicious (13%). Export figures are estimated to stabilise at 1.7 million tons, with stable figures for Chile (650,000 tons), a 4% increase for South Africa (476,000 tons), and a 7% decrease for New Zealand (372,000 tons).Regarding pears, the Southern Hemisphere growers predict a stabilisation of the crop at 1.3 million tons and an increase of 2% compared to the overall average of years 2018-2020. The increase in South Africa, Australia, and Argentina of 3%, 2%, and 1% respectively are expected to compensate for the 3% and the 10% decrease in Chile and New Zealand. As in previous years, Packham’s Triumph and Williams BC/Bartlett are the major varieties, with 36% and 28% respectively. Forecasted export figures for pears are reported to increase by 6% compared to the previous year and reach 709,000 tons, with a 12% increase for Argentina (374,000 tons), a 2% increase for South Africa (214,000 tons), and a 3% decrease for Chile (108,000 tons).


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New Zealand’s apple exports shrink

New Zealand’s apple exports shrink
Photo: Mr. Apple

New Zealand’s apple sector forecasts a 14% drop in the volume of apples exported in 2021 compared to 2020. Industry association New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc (NZAPI) projected export will reach just over 347,700 tons. Some of the causes in the fall are a shortage of available labour, significant hail damage in the Nelson and Central Otago regions, and small calibres.

New Zealand Apples and Pears CEO Alan Pollard said: “Labour availability on orchard and in our post-harvest operations is well short of numbers needed by the industry despite doing all we can to attract New Zealanders into work. In addition, the fruit size is coming in smaller on average than we forecast.”

Of the varieties exported, Braeburn is the most significantly affected. The revised estimate of 1.5 million cartons is 44% lower than the 2020 level. Royal Gala, New Zealand’s leading export variety, is forecast to be 15% down on 2020, Cripps Pink (marketed as Pink Lady) will be 15% down, and Fuji will be 19% down. In better news, protected club varieties such as Dazzle, Envy, Honeycrisp and Rockit continue to show strong growth as new plantings come into production.


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Cosmic Crisp® , lots of interest in the first commercial trials

Cosmic Crisp® , lots of interest in the first commercial trials

Very positive feedback from the wholesale markets. Demand is already high with volumes expected to grow in the coming years.

A decidedly positive debut which, following the first tastings, has sparked the interest of the market with levels of demand already high. The first commercial trial campaign for the Cosmic Crisp® , the new apple cultivated and marketed in Europe exclusively by the VOG and VIP Consortia of South Tyrol – Südtirol, has got off to a flying start.

Officially presented in late January at the 2021 Apple Summit, the Cosmic Crisp® is a cross between the Enterprise and the Honeycrisp and stands out for its remarkable juiciness, firm crunch and particularly balanced flavour. A sensory experience perfectly encapsulated by the claim “Heavenly taste. With every bite” and by the faces chosen for the European communication campaign, which mirror the naturalness, luxury and exclusiveness of the apples. All aspects that wholesale market professionals were able to verify and appreciate during the first tastings.

“We are really pleased with the initial feedback we have collected from many expert professionals in the wholesale markets” comments Klaus Hölzl, sales manager of the VOG Consortium. “Cosmic Crisp® is popular for its texture and for the explosion of flavour and intensity apparent from the very first bite”. Thanks to the first trade marketing activities in support of customers, industry professionals have been able to get to know and appreciate the qualities of this new product. “We have organised tastings so greengrocers and specialist wholesalers can try the Cosmic Crisp® . We have also distributed illustrative materials that they can use in their shops to communicate the qualities of this incredible apple to consumers”.

The South Tyrolean consortia have already reserved 500 hectares of land for the cultivation of this new variety and following these first tests will launch greater quantities of the product on the market as of the 2021-2022 sales season. “Cosmic Crisp® is an apple with an excellent shelf life and is perfect for the second half of the sales season, from February through to August”, explains Fabio Zanesco, sales director of VIP. “This year we began with the first 100 tonnes, a clearly limited amount but ideal for this launch phase which enables us to receive lots of useful feedback, as has been the case in the last few days. As of next season we will gradually ramp up both distribution and sales thanks to the availability of increasing volumes that will enable us to satisfy the already high level of demand”.

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Demand for Kissabel® Apples continues to outstrip supply

Demand for Kissabel® Apples continues to outstrip supply

As recent plantings across Europe result in higher volumes of the exciting new apple varieties, suppliers report strong commercial interest and predict bright future for the brand.

ANGERS, March 3th – Kissabel®, an innovative series of apple varieties with red or pink flesh, offers an increasing number of European buyers a great chance to boost their sales.

That’s a view shared by some of the continent’s leading suppliers, who are now reporting levels of commercial demand that are far above the available supply.

Despite the obvious challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, which have limited opportunities to market directly to consumers, Kissabel® looks well placed to capture a greater share of the apple market.

In the United Kingdom for example, it already offers a real point of difference in a market that is worth £1 billion.

“I firmly believe that Kissabel® is one of the most exciting varietal developments,” comments Jeremy Linsell, Technical and Performance Development Officer at Worldwide Fruit. He was one of first UK growers to plant two yellow-skinned Kissabel® varieties.

Commercial Director Hannah McIlfatrick says Worldwide Fruit is “extremely excited about the product’s arrival. “Kissabel® brings something truly unique to the category, with its distinct red-pink flesh colour and deliciously fresh crisp taste.”

Reaction to Kissabel® apples from commercial partners has been good. “The feedback has been good, and the customers like it,” says Anna Coxe, Head of Technical and Quality at Greenyard. “We have a positive feeling about the level of demand for next season.”

A special campaign last Halloween encouraged consumers to discover a ‘frightful surprise’ inside the fruit. This contributed to 119 percent annual sales growth, says Victoria Cliff, Marketing Manager at Worldwide Fruit: “More and more consumers want to try special and different products, with an emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal produce. Halloween continues to provide the perfect stage for Kissabel®, which provides the perfect wow factor.”

Marketing has also made an impact in Germany. “The Halloween edition was perceived especially well,“ recalls Wolfgang Kreiser, director of Red Apple Germany. “The red-fleshed apples attracted attention from retailers as well as shoppers. We have planted more Kissabel® Rouge trees, to meet demand better in future. Although Kissabel® will remain a niche product for us, it has proven to be successful in its niche.“ He adds: “We saw huge interest in and demand for Kissabel® pre-season – even to the extent that we couldn’t meet all of our customers’ requests.”

Kissabel® has the support of companies in Italy, where strong demand reflects the brand’s great promise. “We don’t see any problem with having larger volumes available in future, because its uniqueness makes it unrivalled,” explains Andrea Fedrizzi, Marketing and Communications Manager at Italian group Melinda.

Together, Melinda and South Tyrolean companies VIP and VOG have planted around 17ha in Italy with Kissabel® Rouge apples. They expect to sell a combined volume of 300 tonnes this year, doubling that in 2022 before reaching 900 tonnes in 2023. Meanwhile, Piedmont-based supplier Rivoira will also begin planting another type of Kissabel® Rouge next year.

Importantly, Kissabel® represents not one but several highly distinctive additions to the apple category. Marketed as Kissabel Rouge, Orange, or Jaune, a number of different red-, orange- and yellow-skinned varieties offer a range of appealing flavours.

“I think it is very important to focus attention on their very distinctive tastes, which lend themselves to different uses and to tasting Kissabel® apples at all times of the day, and can win over consumers in different countries,” observes Fabio Zanesco, VIP’s Sales and Marketing Manager.

Early customer feedback has been good: “We sold around 80 tonnes of Kissabel® in weeks 44-48, 72 per cent of it Italy and 28 per cent in Scandinavia,” he reveals.

Although Covid has prevented in-store tastings during the past 12 months, this does not mean direct marketing to consumers has stopped.

“Through clear and direct visual communication in store, we were still able to convey the variety’s added value,” explains Fedrizzi. “Even in the absence of tastings, this generated excellent results.”

The trend is a similar one in France, according to Jean Nicolas Blouet of Mesfruits. “In France and the UK, all of our customers would have kept buying if there had been more volume to sell.” he comments. “All of our clients are going to buy again next year. It is already a rendezvous!”

Also in France, Blue Whale’s commercial export director Marc Peyres is very optimistic about the brand’s prospects. “We are really happy to be working with this completely new and unique apple. They are amazing on the inside, they look good, and they taste good too.”

Kissabel® is making progress in Switzerland as well. Christian Bertholet is Fruit Category Manager at Swiss company Fenaco, which has worked hard to build awareness of the brand among its customer base. “All the major retail chains included the red-skinned variety in their ranges,” he says. “We sent all our customers a sample at the beginning of the season, then in the second part of the season we reminded them all that we were still present in the market. Customers appreciated this innovation.”

Emmanuel de Lapparent, who manages the IFORED programme that oversees Kissabel’s development, concludes saying he sees a bright future for the brand. “2020 was the second significant commercial campaign for Kissabel® in Europe, and it is clearly showing great prospects for the coming years. Kissabel® is proving to be a real innovation in the apple category.”

Kissabel® is the brand that identifies the different coloured-flesh varieties – from pink to deep red – developed using exclusively natural breeding techniques thanks to the IFORED programme, an international partnership that involves 14 of the major production and marketing companies in the world.

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