ANGERS – Great success for Kissabel® in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy: commercial testing for the 2018/2019 season yielded very positive results for the apple with the flesh whose colour ranges from pink to intense red, produced and brought to market by the partners in the international IFORED project.
Following successful initial testing in late 2017, Kissabel® is back on the shelves of supermarkets and shopping centres in the four test countries, with the delicious flavour and surprising look of the Rouge, Jaune and Orange varieties, developed in a completely natural way in over 20 years of research by French breeder IFO.
In Germany, Kissabel® was the subject of tastings in supermarkets and shopping centres, during which consumers were able to voice their opinion about this innovative fruit. The events were organised by Elbe-Obst and Obst Vom Bodensee, member companies of the RAG (Red Apple Germany) consortium. “Most of the consumers who tasted Kissabel® were positively surprised by the red colour of the flesh,” says Jens Anderson, Red Apple Germany GmbH. “We collected the answers of 450 consumers during the tastings. They call Kissabel® new, exotic, delicious, pretty, strange and nice for Christmas.”
Positive results are also reported from Italy, where Kissabel® is distributed by NovaMela Consortium, with members VOG, Melinda, VI.P, La Trentina and Rivoira. Here too, tastings were organised at retail outlets, where consumers were able to fill out a questionnaire, as well as at events and exhibitions in Trentino and Lombardy, with excellent results in both cases.
Finally, Kissabel® was the subject of consumer testing by a research institute, and garnered excellent results in terms of both intention to buy and general approval. “The reasons for this high level of approval lies in Kissabel®'s novel red flesh, which makes it stand out from other products, as well as the main benefits described in the concept: nutritional values, crispness and its flavour, which recalls that of red fruit,” says Andrea Fedrizzi, Marketing and Communications Manager for Melinda. “Even after tasting, Kissabel® confirms its high expectations, and the apple is highly appreciated for its flavour and aroma.” For the Italian consumers, Kissabel® stands out for its inviting, attractive look and delicious flavour. “To sum up,” says Fedrizzi, “we can say that the marketing mix works very well.”
In the United Kingdom, the fruit is distributed by Green Yard and Worldwide Fruit. “We’re delighted by the feedback we’ve received about Kissabel® apples. Customers say they look great and taste great. We’re very excited for the future of
this project,” says Steve Maxwell, CEO of Worldwide Fruit, about the results reported by some of the country’s major retailers for the Yellow and Orange varieties. The testing, from October to December, gave outstanding sales, with Kissabel® apples gaining a premium market placement. Retailers also highly appreciated the wow factor of the fruit’s internal colour, as well as its flavour and aroma.
Sales also went very well in Switzerland. “Retailers are very interested in developing this new market segment,” says Christian Bertholet from Union-Fruits Fenaco. “We also presented Kissabel® at the Goûts et Terroirs exhibition, and garnered considerable interest from consumers and restaurants.” Switzerland will continue to grow its production of Kissabel® varieties, with the aim of reaching 400 tonnes by end 2022.
The Kissabel® range currently includes three varieties: Rouge, with red flesh and skin; Orange, with orange skin and pinkish-red flesh; and Jaune, with yellow skin and a subtle pink tint to the flesh. Commercial production will get under way in 2019 in France, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Many IFORED partners will also take part in Fruit Logistica, the international fresh produce exhibition, held in Berlin from 6th to 8th February. IFORED partners include: Alliance Mesfruits Gerfruit, Blue Whale (France); Green Yard, Worldwide Fruit (UK); Fenaco (Switzerland); VOG, VI.P, Melinda, La Trentina, Rivoira (Italy); Nufri (Spain); Elbe-Obst, VEOS, Landgard, OGM, MaBo, WOG, VOG, ELO, MAL (Germany); Mono Azul (Argentina); Unifrutti (Chile); Dutoit (South Africa); Yummy Fruit Company (NZ), Montague (Australia); Next Big Thing (USA-Canada).