The Australian Kanzi apple harvest is now underway after the first fruit from the eastern states was picked in mid-March, followed by later districts in South Australia and Western Australia a week later.
Manager of the Kanzi apple brand in Australia, Des Muir, says excellent quality fruit is coming off the trees.
Production is estimated at 5.5 million kilograms (12.1 million pounds), with plantings since 2007 totaling 630,000 trees.
The planned Kanzi planting program has resulted in orderly and significant growth, with 630,000 trees currently planted.
An additional 120,000 trees will be planted over the next two seasons. No further plantings are expected to occur unless the market clearly indicates more fruit is required.
Since its release in Australia, demand has been well in excess of supply. Muir says the Kanzi group believes controlled planting and marketing will result in continued strong demand.
With increased production, the Kanzi group has been able to boost promotion funding; this year’s program is significantly larger than last year.
Targeted trade, retail and consumer promotions are all part of the marketing mix.
More promotion funding has been allocated to supermarket and independent retail sectors, resulting in significant programs being developed collaboratively with major retailers.
Consumer promotions include an expanded program of national radio and outdoor billboard advertising based on success in previous years.
To coincide with first fruit being available, season launches are being held for key food writers, broadcasters and social media influencers in both Sydney and Melbourne.
At the same time and in a world first for Kanzi, a “Pick Your Own Kanzi” weekend is scheduled in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, aimed at generating additional media coverage and consumer interest.
Export initiatives are also under way, with trial shipments this season to selected South East Asian and Middle East markets, and expectations of full scale shipments from next year.