In a year of supply chain and market challenges wrought by Covid-19, miniature apple company Rockit Global Limited is thankful to be celebrating one of its strongest seasons in memory.
The producers of the globally trademarked Rockit™ apple, who are currently shipping their final export containers for 2020, are reporting strong results in a tough environment. Export volume and price targets for the year, which were set before the onset of the pandemic, have been met, with turnover up over 25% year-on-year.
Rockit™, who has this week released its latest 2020 season forecast to its grower partners, is forecasting orchard gate returns of NZ$1.84 to $1.92 per standard tube equivalent. In conventional industry metrics these equate to returns of around NZ$75 per carton and over NZ$225,000 per hectare on mature orchards.
Chairman John Loughlin puts the result down to Rockit Global’s reputation, its expansion into new markets and the development of clever, compelling digital marketing campaigns.
“To have attained such a robust result in a very challenging season is extremely encouraging,” says John. “Our approach has been to find ways into new channels and territories – launching Rockit™ into Kuwait and India this year – and to roll out a suite of marketing initiatives in our biggest consumer markets, speaking directly to our customers in China and the Middle East.”
“A real sign of the quality of this year’s performance is that we are finishing the New Zealand supply season with high demand. Now, we switch to supplying our markets with Rockit™ product that has been grown by our partners in the northern hemisphere.”
John says the success of Rockit™ on the global stage has also attracted New Zealand’s top talent to the team, which is headquartered in Hawke’s Bay. “We are fast becoming recognised as a leading apple company to work for. From our sales strategists to our marketing experts, our engineers to our innovation specialists and our colleagues in the orchard and packhouse, we really do have a dream team at Rockit Global.”
With this expertise in place, Rockit™ made a big play for the Indian market in 2020, partnering with Kiwi cricketer Kane Williamson ahead of the Indian Premier League cricket season. Williamson now carries Rockit™ insignia on his bat. “The potential for success in India is huge,” John continues. “Rockit™ is excited to begin carving out its own niche within the produce category there.”
India recently became the 28th country where Rockit™ is sold. The small, sweet miniature apples – a cross between a Gala and Gala Splendour, for which the company hold exclusive global rights – are grown in nine countries, including New Zealand.
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