The heavy frosts of the last three weeks have caused significant damage to European stone fruit crops. "We have yet to find out the full extent of the consequences of these frosts, as we need to see how the fruit develops on the trees," said Angel Vallin, of ASF Edition.
"What we do know is that there will be less fruit than initially planned and that, consequently, the fruit's sizes will be larger in the affected growing areas; something that will have an impact on the market. From June onwards, it will become more difficult to find small fruit for those markets that demand basket formats."
Despite this drop in the production, especially in Spain and France, ASF Edition assures that its brands Ondine and Regal'in will have a limited, although sufficient supply. Consumers will be able to enjoy the taste quality of Ondine and Regal'in from June, which is when their campaign starts.
Ondine is the brand used for the flat fruit varieties obtained by ASF Edition, namely flat peaches and flat nectarines, while Regal'in is used for its round varieties of apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums.
"Our growers are present in Spain, France, Italy, Chile, South Africa and Australia. All of them have been selected to work with a fruit selected with two additional selection criteria, on top of the usual ones. In addition to Brix degrees, cosmetic appearance and size, our fruit is selected for its flavor and marketed only when it reaches optimum ripeness. That way, the end consumer can consistently enjoy a delicious taste during every week of the campaign," says Ángel Vallín.
2020 was marked by the launch of the Ondine flat nectarine, which for the first time offered the market a product with perfect pistil closure and therefore an unbeatable shelf life. This product joined the category it shares with Paraguayo peaches, selected according to the same criteria.
"Its full pistil closure allows us to offer a product with good shelf life; a healthy and delicious alternative for the snacking and fingerfood fruit segment, whose demand is growing every year. The truth is that the launch of our flat nectarine last year, which was a trial, turned out to be a success. The demand from European retailers has increased a lot and will exceed the supply, especially in a year like this one," says Ángel Vallín.
"However, the diversity of Ondine and Regal'in growers' locations in the various production areas of each country, together with the brand's presence in different countries of the Mediterranean basin, will allow us to have fruit supply during this difficult season. This year, we will work with 15 supermarket chains across Europe," he said.