Montague, Australia’s leading family-owned fresh produce business, has launched the new season of the apple Smitten® to Coles supermarkets from 11 February 2021 in Victoria and Tasmania, before reaching New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia on 16 February, and Western Australia on 23 February. This year has seen an abundant harvest of Smitten® apples - the largest to date - in response to increased demand after Australian’s fell in love with the fruit in recent years. The love affair is highly appropriate for an apple with the tagline ‘Once bitten, forever smitten’.
Following ideal growing conditions through Spring 2020, good amounts of rainfall and consistent temperatures, this season’s Smitten® apples are larger, sweeter and bursting with flavour. In recent weeks, warm sunny days and cool nights have resulted in a beautifully coloured skin.
This will be the fourth season of Smitten®, seeing the trees mature and settle. Following increasing popularity from consumers, 2021’s crop will be the biggest to date, with a volume of 780,000kg apples, almost double the yield in 2020 of 468,000kg.
“Consumers can’t seem to get enough of our Smitten® apples, with their bright red skin and dense, yellow-cream colour flesh that is crisp and juicy,” said Montague Managing Director and third-generation family member, Scott Montague. “Characteristically sweet-scented, it’s proved to be a brilliant eating apple with wide appeal.”
A blend of Gala, Braeburn, Falstaff and Fiesta varieties, Smitten® is set to open the Victorian apple season every year, offering a great bite and firm flesh that is more resistant to bruising, making it last longer and keep better from orchards to kitchens.
Lauren Benjamin, Category Manager Coles, Fresh Produce -Apples, Pears and Stone fruit said: “I am really excited that the Smitten® apple harvest is under way! It’s one of my favourite apple varieties. Smitten™ is a great tasting apple. Strong floral aromatics with hints of tart behind the sweetness and an amazing crunch. Coles is proud to work collaboratively with the team at Montague to bring this early season apple to our customers."
Adding to its appeal, the Smitten® apple season is short and sweet, and Coles shoppers will only have until early April to be smitten with this new variety.