Starting from the 90s, new apple varieties have become more and more popular, thus diminishing the surfaces of traditional varieties. Some of these new varieties have been launched adopting the so called "Club" business model.
The rise of Club projects is related to the main objective of turning a commodity into a high-value item. New Club projects can be challenging, due to the varieties of competences and expertise needed for their implementation.
"Apple Club" projects can indeed face important issues related to business development, licensing, legal, marketing, retailing, operation management, logistics, Intellectual Property protection, etc.., which might be enhanced by the fact that too many new varieties are currently being pushed by breeders.
These issues might easily turn into problems if not properly managed. CIV supports the idea that it would be possible to overcome Club-Project related challenges if breeders could build stronger bonds of trust with the retailers and vice versa. Retailers should in fact be more involved in the variety development process, as they are the closest stakeholders to the end-consumer and those managing such limited space on the shelves.
Gaia and Gemini variety
CIV, an Italian breeding and variety management company, with 40-years experience in fruit breeding and the licensing of new apple and strawberry varieties, is making an official call to the retailers and launching the project proposal called "Category Program".
"Basically, our goal is to work directly with the main retailers to fill the actual gap in the variety development process, connecting the final consumer with the breeders, thus supporting the retailers in the competitive market to bring new high-value varieties to the shelves, selected to meet the needs of certain customer segments.
"The CIV Category Program aims to quickly validate, along with the retailer, the product/market fit of new promising varieties via tailor-made value paths, starting from identifying the right candidate varieties, to naming them, and finally to defining effective branding and supply chain strategies," states Marco Bertolazzi, CIV Business Development Manager. This project is specifically addressed to retailer category managers that also recognize the necessity of strengthening the connection with breeders and variety editors.