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Dylan van Raaij, Yex:

"Delayed start for South African Sharon fruit makes market situation challenging"

At Yex, the South African Sharon fruit season is in full swing. "Sharon fruit is still a real seasonal product. Particularly in the early summer months from South Africa and from August until the end of the year with the Spanish season, it is a big product for us," says product manager Dylan van Raaij.

Sharon fruit is named after the Sharon plain in Israel. The Sharon fruit grows on 15-metre high trees and is mainly grown in the river valley. According to the product manager, a lot of effort is put into the breeding process to generate higher yields per hectare, to come up with more resistant varieties against diseases and pests and to get the brix content higher.

"The South African season started later, so we missed a number of sales weeks (from mid-May). Unfortunately, due to the delay, there is now a lot of European stone fruit in the market, which retailers now prefer in their promotions. For those Sharon fruit promotions that are running, we see that the predicted sales are not always met. This results in low demand," says the product manager.

Sharon fruit is a popular item with European consumers. Yex customers are mainly located in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. "We source Sharon fruit in South Africa, Spain and Israel. In the Spain season we also have organic Sharon fruit available, but in the South Africa season this is not the case. We also distinguish Sharon fruit from persimmons. That is a totally different commodity and we do not trade them ourselves."

According to Dylan, there are many option when it comes to the consumption of Sharon fruit. "You can eat it with your hands and it doesn't need to be peeled. You can use the fruit in starters, main courses and desserts, so the applications are endless. In terms of packaging, too, we can meet virtually all customer requirements. We recently designed flowpack packaging for our Discovered consumer brand."

For more information:
Dylan van Raaij 
T: +31 174 47 9168 

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