Owner and CMO of The Apple Press, Ross Beaton, has staked everything on his apple juice varietals and plans to grow the chilled juice category. This innovator was a very successful apple grower for over 30 years, and has now taken over 13,000 tonnes of non-export grade (dubbed ‘ugly') fruit and turned it into apple juice with a difference. After growing the apple juice category by 40 per cent in New Zealand, The Apple Press recently launched the product into Australia, its first export market.
Beaton explains how he used to grow and sell apples to 43 countries. He then spied an opportunity for ‘ugly’ fruit: “We tried to extract as much of the value as possible from the apples and sell them at a consumer level. However, we also had this volume of product, which we refer to as ugly fruit, which basically got pulled apart and sold as sugar in the past.”
“New Zealand is quite world-renowned for its apple industry and for producing juice. What we wanted to do was look at it in a new way. Anyone under 45 has most probably never even tasted real apple juice. They have tasted fillers which have been concentrated. So we said look, we're selling these apples, they are world class, why don't we take them and make a single varietal juice of the individual apples? Why don't we hero the apple and make what we believe to be the world's best apple juice?"
Today, The Apple Press has a range of apple juice from sweet to tart. These include the iconic Pink Lady variety, as well as Jazz, Royal Gala and others, each with a different taste profiles.
“For younger people, they like the sweeter taste, while for the more mature, they like the tart taste. We took the lead from the olive oil and the wine industry and offer different taste profiles and varietals,” Beaton said.
“Apple is the new orange, we say. We are promote drinking and a taste experience with different varietals by making high quality products from high quality ingredients."