The 'Superior Taste Awards', granted by the International Taste Institute (ITI) from Brussels, have recognized BANZZAI® for its commitment to quality and iconic taste.
BANZZAI® is the first ever citrus fruit to receive the esteemed 'Superior Taste Award' which is based exclusively on taste and is considered the 'Michelin Guide' for food and beverages due to the exhaustive methodology applied when evaluating the products presented in each category. As world leaders in the evaluation and certification of consumer food, the ITI works with some of the best taste experts in the world and its jury is composed of more than 200 renowned flavour professionals.
As a result of several crosses involving different varieties of orange, satsuma, mandarin and pomelo, this delicious fruit was developed in Japan and today has been grown for the first time in the sun-drenched orchards of Spain. BANZZAI® requires the perfect orchestra of ideal climatic cultivation, highly specialized tree management, pampered harvesting and meticulous packing in order to guarantee its iconic taste profile and recognizable shape. Each part of the process plays a critical role in delivering a unique sensorial experience for the consumer.
BANZZAI® was objectively evaluated by the ITI’s jury following a rigorous blind tasting methodology in which product samples are anonymized to avoid any bias in the scoring. The fruit was judged for its organoleptic quality in addition to the full consumer experience: first impression, visual appearance, smell, taste, texture, experience and final sensation.
As the first ever citrus variety for fresh consumption to receive the Superior Taste Award, the international distinction certifies BANZZAI®’s unique flavour profile and remarkable taste, validating the full eating experience: ease of peel, seedless nature, unique flavour, ease of segmentation without breakage, high juice content, refreshing aroma and health attributes.
“The prestigious recognition awarded to BANZZAI® by the ITI is a source of pride for Genesis and AM FRESH Group,” declares David Alba, CEO of Genesis Innovation, part of AM FRESH Group, “and our full team from farming to packhouse to logistics to sales synchronized and optimized their every move under a sole purpose to deliver an exceptionally flavourful and unique sensorial experience to consumers".
The first harvest of BANZZAI® commenced mid-January 2020 and experienced a roll-out in exclusive retailers in UK and Germany and sold out respectively in Marks & Spencer and EDEKA in just a few days. A thriving and successful in-store sampling activation attained 80% conversion rate from trial to purchase and shoppers were grabbing BANZZAI® by the armful according to surprised retailers.
The packaging was specifically tailored to each retail partner, elevating the sense of discovery for shoppers. BANZZAI® was offered as loose premium fruit and further pack extensions are currently under exploration , including reference to highlight the Superior Taste Award accolade.
David Alba confirms that "for the next season BANZZAI® could have a better availability, as we expect an increase in production compared to last year. The expected volume will be determined after the summer, as heat waves and other adverse weather conditions can have a direct impact on expected yields".
Volumes continue to be very limited and sales in further European countries is a medium-term project.