India's insatiable appetite for imported apples set to grow
Chile is in a prime spot to boost its apple exports to India off the back of a poor U.S. harvest, according to a senior industry figure.
Indians are particularly attracted to imported hard apples, which in many cases they prefer to their own home-grown softer produce, delegates were told at Chile's annual industry networking event FRUITTRADE.
FieldFresh Foods head of exports Sameer Sachdeva, said there was a lot of demand for apples in India and Chile was well placed to capitalize on this.
He said Indian apples tended to be softer because of a lack of cold storage in the country's farms, which has fuelled a consumer desire for crispier produce.
"People are experiencing new varieties such as Gala and Fuji. They are looking for something which is different and new and are willing to pay a premium, they have the money and they are willing to spend it to get a new variety."
Chile's top red apple export, Red Delicious saw a 17% rise in 2010/11 compared with last year jumping to 14,738 metric tons (MT) compared with 12,513MT the previous year.
Sachdeva pointed out Washington D.C.'s success with exports in 2005 of this variety was the key to opening up the Indian market to imported apples.