The New Zealand apple crop has landed, and retailers and shoppers should expect fresh, large and exceptionally flavorful apples to hit stores in June, enabling high-quality, year-round apple programs from T&G Global.
T&G’s New Zealand apple volumes are up compared to last year, with Jazz and Envy driving the program, rounded out by Royal Gala, Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Pacific Rose and Pink Lady apples and Taylor’s Gold pears. A smooth growing season — and little rain during the harvest period, which allowed picking to occur during optimal maturity windows — has produced robust quality fruit. This was a welcome contrast to the 2019 season, which was curtailed by heat, drought and fires.
“This year’s New Zealand crop truly is bigger and better than years past,” said Cecilia Flores Paez, T&G head of marketing, North America. “Fruit size is trending larger, and brix, pressures and color all are enhanced over last season — and even years prior. The eating experience should be first rate.”
Vancouver, BC-based Oppy, will manage T&G’s full apple basket, now through early fall. Brand volumes are considerably up this season, with Envy cases up 35 percent and Jazz up 13 percent.
“Oppy is particularly excited about the opportunities this season offers. We’ve been marketing New Zealand apples since the 1950s and are now approaching one of the most unique summer markets, historically,” said Karin Gardner, executive director of marketing. “We think fresh-crop Envy and Jazz, more than ever, will deliver on shopper needs due to their high quality and consistency.
“Research indicates shoppers want a great-tasting apple year-round, and particularly with what’s happening in the world, a sense of nostalgia and comfort, refreshment and value in their eating experiences this summer. If biting into a Jazz while walking in the park or slicing up an Envy while reading a book at home, doesn’t say comfort, enjoyment and vitality — I’m not sure what does.”
Indeed, Envy and Jazz are driven by strong shopper insights, as June approaches:
Envy – YOY dollars are up 30 percent and pounds up 34 percent — with 19 percent distribution growth — according to Nielsen scan data (last 52 weeks, ending April 30, 2020). Envy is preferred for its sweetness, juiciness and overall appearance.
Jazz – Recent shopper research indicates 87 percent of respondents like the flavor of Jazz, with 49 percent marking it as “excellent.” A separate research set indicated Jazz is ideal for its snacking attributes, according to 75 percent of respondents. Jazz is favored for its tangy/sweet flavor and overall snackability.
The import program will emphasize bulk — with sizes peaking 70s to 90s — while offering an increased range of pack sizes, two-pound through five-pound, to meet accelerating shopper demand. Import Envy should ship early June through October, with Jazz running early June through mid-October. Jazz also will be available from Washington this summer, primarily in small sizes to support the large-sized New Zealand Jazz.
Ad opportunities and POS materials are available, and stay tuned for integrated-shopper marketing campaigns, intended to help drive retail sales and deliver on targeted shopper needs.