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Marlene® is more and more international. Debuts in Qatar, Thailand and the UAE

Marlene® is more and more international. Debuts in Qatar, Thailand and the UAE

                                                                                                                                                                                          Press release

In its 25th anniversary year, the number of countries where the VOG Consortium’s famous brand is present is on the increase. Walter Pardatscher: “A major milestone that enables us to keep growing our global presence”.  
(Bolzano, 10 September 2020) – Qatar, Thailand and the UAE. Marlene® apples will now be available in three new countries, a major milestone for the key brand of the VOG Consortium, founded in 1995, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.  
The first container of apples with the famous blue sticker left by sea on 21 August, with the others to follow in early September. “We’re proud and delighted to have added three more countries to our list this year, the 25th anniversary of the birth of Marlene®,” VOG Consortium Marketing Manager Hannes Tauber explains.  
In its first 25 years, Marlene® has become widely known and popular in many countries, a favourite with retailers and final consumers alike. “The export markets are a priority focus for VOG, and it’s no coincidence that we export our 30 varieties to more than 65 countries right across the world,” Walter Pardatscher, CEO of the VOG Consortium, comments. “Last March we achieved a major milestone: the first Italian apples exported to Vietnam were our very own Pink Lady®. Now we are adding three more steps to the Marlene® brand’s progress. Our brand has reached over 25 countries in its 25-year lifetime: a result that fills us with pride and enthusiasm.” 
“This news is a source of great satisfaction for the entire Italian apple-growing industry, because it reflects our production system’s efficiency and its ability to open out new frontiers,” comments Alessandro Dalpiaz, Director of the Assomela growers’ association. “We’re proud to see a quality international brand like Marlene® bringing Italian excellence to these new markets.” 
The first three shipments, totalling 60,000 kg, or about 450,000 new-crop Marlene® Royal Gala apples, will reach their destinations after a 30-day sea voyage. “In Qatar, Thailand and the UAE alike, most of our apples will be sold through supermarket greengrocery departments: the feedback from our customers in the large-scale distribution market will be invaluable in this initial stage,” VOG Consortium Sales Manager Klaus Hölzl concludes. “However, a few pallets will also be sold through the three countries’ fruit and vegetable markets.”  

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Gourmet Fruits is growing twice as fast as the market

Gourmet Fruits is growing twice as fast as the market with comprehensive farm-to-fork services, the widest range and punctual deliveries.

Gourmet Fruits is a category manager dedicated to the major supermarket chains in Qatar. Nineteen Al Meera and Geant hypermarkets are exclusively supplied and merchandised with more than 500 daily items. “We supply a lot of airfreighted specialty exotics, fresh cut salads, tomatoes and berries at a very competitive price,” said Ehab Abou Karroum, managing director of Gourmet Fruits.

It also supplies Carrefour, Lulu and Monoprix hypermarkets, among others, as well as the food service branch of several institutions and public companies such as the Hamad hospital and the Qatari GAZ Group.

Gourmet Fruits’ logistics centre is strategically located in the industrial area of the capital city, Doha. “Most of the hypermarkets and supermarkets in Qatar are strategically located in shopping centres in order to achieve successful food retail,” said Karroum. Qatar has 10 large shopping centres in the country.

Daily direct supplies of exotics and organics

Gourmet Fruits employs 300 workers, distributes more than 35,000 tons and generates about €60 million in turnover. A fleet of 35 trucks is used for daily delivery to shops. “Our activity is rapidly expanding by 20-25% per year, while we are seeing market growth in the retail sector of about 10% annually,” reports Karroum.

The company keeps growing twice as fast as the market by maintaining the core values that have been intrinsic to its development, namely providing a wide range of quality produce, guaranteeing dependable, punctual delivery and, most importantly, listening to, understanding and meeting the needs of end customers.

“Our continuous efforts towards building and expanding relationships with our suppliers and growers have enabled us to offer a range of exotic and organic products from around the globe for our elite customers. We feel that part of our ethical obligation to secure the flow of food to our beloved Qatar is achieved by securing dependable sources of suppliers,” Karroum said.


This interview first appeared on page 47 of edition 139 (Sept/Oct 2015) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more of that issue online by clicking on the image of it here: