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Marc Peyres, Blue Whale:

“Fuji Primeur has the potential to conquer all of Europe”

Five weeks a year, the French apple exporter Blue Whale markets the Fuji Primeur brand apple. Marc Peyres: "Fuji Primeur is an early variety, marketed in September and October. This is one month before the other Fuji. The brand has been created to emphasize that the variety is different from the others: it is less colorful, but tastes better."

Blue Whale has already launched the brand in France and Spain. "Our goal is to market the brand in Northern Europe as well. It will not be easy, because September is the month of all European crops, and there’s a tendency to buy local products. Nevertheless, it’s more interesting to talk about the taste than its location, because the Fuji Primeur is better than many other varieties."

Spain is a brand market
The marketing of Fuji Primeur in Spain is accompanied by a major promotional campaign. "Next to the display of banners on Merca Madrid, we organized events inside the mercas of Madrid and Valencia, and tastings and games in the fruterias in Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona. This type of marketing works very well in Spain. This is really a brand market: more than France, which is a large retail market."

A quick success
"We got to establish the brand faster than we thought. This is the third year we've marketed it, and it works very well. We can sell nearly 3,000 tons in five weeks, and it’s in demand."

The banners on the Merca Madrid
Regarding the marketing of Fuji Primeur all over Europe, there still are some challenges. "Fuji Primeur is very sweet and juicy. The European consumer is often accustomed to more acidic varieties. But in each market in Northern Europe, there is a range of consumers interested by sweet apples like our Fuji Primeur: the same consumers who love this apple taste when they are spending their August holidays in the South of Europe ! We have to reach this customer. Offering a sweet apple in Northern Europe can contribute to increasing total apple consumption in this area.”

Asian taste
Blue Whale was present at the Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong earlier this month. Marc: "It’s still difficult to export apples to Asia. Only 1% of imports into Asia come from Europe. The problem is that European production is not adopted to Asian taste, namely sweeter varieties. We do not have the necessary amounts yet."

Still Marc expects a good year on the Asian market. "Globally, we have an alignment of favorable factors that we never had. The only problem is that we are limited in amounts. The frost in China is even more important than the frost in Europe last year. As the Chinese will run out of apples, it would not matter if our varieties are not as sweet as their varieties. When there are no apples, the Chinese eat them all. The market will be very active around Christmas."

Another positive factor for French exports is the US sanctions against China. "These sanctions open up new opportunities for us. But, the challenge for us it is to use this opportunity in order to transform it in a long term business by acceptance of our good eating quality apples from Blue Whale in France. And we are not forgetting that we could pay for the success next year, when there will probably be overproduction." 

The team of Blue Whale during the Asia Fruit Logistica 2018: Dina Abella, Rémi Wendling, Marc Peyres, Adrien Touzet, and Thierry Herisson

For more information:
Blue Whale SAS 
Tel: +33 5 63 21 56 56 

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