VOG aiming to consolidate its position in Asian markets
Asian markets are becoming more and more promising for The Consortium of South Tyrolean Fruit Growers’ Co-operatives (known as VOG), the largest apple-marketing organization in Europe, thanks in particular to its assortment of varieties and brands, which makes it the ideal partner for supplying its customers every month of the year. Underlining the area’s importance, the Consortium was present at Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong.
The Italy-based company says that in recent years they have achieved “outstanding” results in Asia, which is now an important export destination with excellent growth prospects. Varietal innovation has played a fundamental role in this success. Thanks to careful planning of the varieties in production and the work of its 4,600 growers and members in South Tyrol, Italy, today the Consortium is able to supply the right apple for all the international market’s demands in every month of the year.
Therefore, as well as on the stand itself the topic of varietal innovation was also the center of the presentation by VOG Marketing Manager Hannes Tauber at the Asia Fruit Congress, the cycle of talks given by fruit and vegetable industry experts during the show. The only Italian speaker at the event, Tauber illustrated the vision of the Consortium and the apple trade regarding this issue.
“Varietal planning is a tricky business, requiring all our expertise and our ability to combine our growers’ knowledge, the insights provided by research and the demands of customers and consumers,” Tauber explains. “Of course, we also have to plot the strategies for the individual brands, to offer varieties attuned to the consumer’s tastes and products that enrich the in-store experience with appeal and colors.”
RedPop conquers Asian markets
One example of an innovation that has received an enthusiastic response from the markets due to both the apple’s characteristics and the brand image is RedPop. Launched by the Consortium as the apple-shaped snack, RedPop has met with enthusiasm on the Far East and South East Asian markets, as this edition of Asia Fruit Logistica confirmed.
“There’s a great deal of interest in RedPop, which suits these destinations’ preference for sweet, crispy, aromatic apples and also ships very well,” VOG Sales Manager Klaus Hölzl comments, “but our assortment also includes other varieties with a great deal of promise for the Asian markets, including Giga, Envy, Crimson Snow and Joya.”
“Our feedback from the show indicates that RedPop has exactly what it takes to win a major slice of the premium segment on the Asian markets,” Tauber adds. “Its snack positioning, its youthful brand identity and the fact that this apple can be supplied in every month of the year are the key factors in its success.”
VOG and the Asian markets
Asia Fruit Logistica was also an opportunity for assessing VOG’s position on the continent’s markets. In recent years the Consortium has built up a solid presence in the Middle East and has exported to countries including India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan, with the aim of also reaching China and Indonesia. Thailand in particular has achieved good volumes for brands like Marlene and RedPop in the last two years, and it is acquiring more and more interest for the Consortium.
The spotlight is also on India, where apples of South Tyrolean origin have gained a solid reputation. As well as for Red Delicious, there is also growing demand in the country for Royal Gala, Granny Smith, and a number of contract apples.
“Europe is still our main market, but our objectives for next season include maintaining a strong position and achieving growth on the Asian markets,” Hölzl explains. “With our wide assortment of varieties and brands and year-round availability of a large selection, we can supply the right products even on these markets, where preferences are traditionally very different from in Europe.”