Australian Kanzi® apple growers are confident of consistent supply this season, despite some challenging weather conditions during the growing period.
"In the past 12 months, Australia has been battered by devastating weather events. Our orchards have been impacted by drought, bushfires, floods and hail and as a result, the volume will be down on what we expected," Horticulture Brand Management Australia Pty Ltd, General Manager, Elisa King said. "However, the growers have worked hard to ensure there will be a consistent supply of delicious Kanzi® apples available in supermarkets and greengrocers from March to September."
Photo: Elisa King at the Rizzato and Sons orchard in Queensland
Ms King added that the outbreak of COVID-19 meant growers had to adapt quickly to the new demands and ensure they were adhering to new procedures regarding social distancing and had enough workers in their area to pick fruit.
"At a market level, it has (also) been challenging, as consumer habits have totally shifted from multiple shops a week to essential shopping weekly making sales slow. As the restrictions hopefully ease over the coming weeks and schools go back, we hope to see the velocity of sales increase," she said. "Kanzi® is a very popular brand with customers because of its crispy crunch and sweet/tangy taste. Consistently, the consumer feedback is that it’s worth paying more for an apple with a longer shelf life, that’s slower to brown and has a guaranteed crunch, like a Kanzi®."
Photo: Apple orchardist Ian Pearce from Orange, NSW
Kanzi apples are grown in 83 orchards around Australia including in 'the pristine orchard regions' of Batlow (NSW), Yarra Valley (Vic), Adelaide Hills (SA), Manjimup (WA), Huon (Tas) where the warm days and cool nights are ideal for nurturing apples.
"We’re excited the Kanzi® brand has been secured by five leading fruit producers; N&A Group (NSW), 9 Mile Fresh (Tynong, VIC), Newton Orchards (Manjimup, WA), Ceravolo Orchards and Flavells Fruit Sales (both Adelaide Hills, SA)," Ms King said. "All partners are vertically integrated growers, packers and marketers of the Kanzi® Marketing Group and have been loyal brand ambassadors since its introduction to Australia a decade ago. They’re looking forward to shaping the future of Kanzi® and growing the brand along with other varieties of apples and pears like the Qtee."
Kanzi® is grown and cared for in eleven countries all around the world, and are marketed as an unusual blend of juicy Gala and tangy, sweet Braeburn giving a well-balanced sweet and sour flavour. HBMA says over the past decade Kanzi® demand has continued to be in front of supply and due to our controlled marketing and planting, believes that strong demand will continue.
"This is our last year of planting trees and by 2024, when we see the trees hit full maturity, we estimate we will be harvesting 12 million kilograms of Kanzi® apples a season," Ms King said. "If you like a sweet and tangy apple with a juicy crunch, I truly believe Kanzi® is the best-tasting apple in Australia. We are constantly told by consumers that once they try a Kanzi® apple they’re hooked. Just last night a Kanzi® fan wrote saying her tastebuds thank us, it was her first time buying Kanzi® and she was delighted, you can’t ask for much better feedback. Customers also love them because they take longer to go brown and store really well in the fridge."
The company's number one focus is the domestic market, but Ms King says it is continuing to explore key export opportunities as "the distinctive bi-colour skin, unique flavour and consistent quality of Kanzi® apples are characteristics that are widely sought after."