After launching a new challenger in the golden apple category in late 2016, two Italian grower cooperatives have recently received a positive response to the first commercial trials.
In Italy’s South Tyrol region growers have struggled to stay afloat financially with the Golden Delicious variety, but two producer groups from the region – VOG and VI.P – have sought to revitalize the category with the new apple brand Yello.
The brand is applied to the Japanese-bred Shinano Gold variety, itself a cross between Golden Delicious and Senshu.
In a release, the cooperatives claimed the first results on the market in December were extremely positive, both in terms of the apple’s taste and shelf life.
VOG saw a “high level of satisfaction” when it conducted several tests in wholesale markets in Verona, Treviso, Bologna and Pagani, while VI.P has started positioning the brand with a supermarket chain in Central Italy and has also received very positive feedback.
The cooperatives have also received positive feedback from tests in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Germany.
However, with the frosts that struck the region and other major apple-growing parts of Europe last year, neither volumes nor plantings have increased to any great degree.
“The volumes are clearly still contained, but yello® already has proven to be a farsighted choice,” says VOG director Gerhard Dichgans.
“We have believed and invested in this premium yellow-skinned variety, which arises in the segment of super-sweet varieties,” he says.
“People like it’s flavor and it wins with shelf life. We have foudn a good rotation in all distribution channels and a considerable appreciation. We can therefore look forward to next season which will bring more commercial quantities of yello®,” adds VI.P commercial director Fabio Zanesco.
In the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont, production is expanding for another yellow/golden apple brand Opal which is another challenger to Golden Delicious’ dominance. In a recent interview with Fresh Fruit Portal, representatives of the Opal brand welcomed the introduction of new competitors like Yello to help lift the category overall.