Inova Fruit:

“We see opportunities to grow further, especially beyond national borders”

By now, Junami has acquired a strong position in the apple segment. The club variety is mostly dependent on growth abroad in coming years. As a consequence of frost, the production is considerably smaller this year. 

Junami apples are a cross between (Idared x Maigold) x Elstar. The variety is originally from Switzerland and is characterised by its juicy, tart flavour and its red, slightly firmer skin. Because of this, Junami is targeted mostly at the group between 18 and 35 years. The apple is positioned as the ideal snack, whether you’re playing a sport, working, at a party or engrossed in a film. Inova Fruit BV owns the manufacturing rights for the club variety until 2023, after which these have to be extended for the EU again. Shareholders are The Greenery, Veiling Zuid Limburg, Fruitmasters and Veiling Zaltbommel. 

The club variety has been marketed for about ten years now, and it has gone through a considerable development by now. GfK research from March 2016 has shown that Junami is ranks as the fifth most eaten apple, after Elstar, Jonagold, Gala and Granny Smith. “The spontaneous product familiarity of Junami is about 60 per cent, which is very high,” Philip Smits from Inova Fruit adds. Junami has to compete with other bi-colour red apples, including Elstar, Jazz, Gala and Kanzi, and its best characteristics are its juiciness and freshness. “This combined with its firmness and its appearance make Junami special.”

Dutch production stagnating
Junami is grown in the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Denmark and Switzerland. Because of its good storability the apple is available year-round, and therefore doesn’t have to be imported from the Southern Hemisphere. In a regular year, total production of Junami amounts to 20,000 tonnes, approximately 15,000 of which is grown in the Netherlands, 3,500 tonnes in Germany and 1,500 tonnes in the UK and Denmark. “This is without the Swiss production. In Switzerland, the apple isn’t marketed under brand name Junami, but under the Diwa name. Junami is also grown in the US, where the apple can be found at all major retail chains in both the eastern and western part of the US.”

Dutch production is stable and currently not increasing. “This stagnation is mostly due to net yield being too low for fruit growers. This is partially caused by the Russian boycott, which resulted in large volumes of apples from countries including Poland being sold on Western European markets.” 

There is growth in Germany, the UK and Denmark. It is expected that total production of Junami will amount to about 25,000 tonnes in 2023 (excluding Switzerland). The Junami apple is a so-called premium club variety. This means Junami is produced, marketed and sold in a completely closed vertical supply chain. Philip expects that an increasingly larger share of apple sales will consist of club varieties in coming years.

“Because nearly all renewals on apple shelves have taken place on the ‘red side’ in the past 25 years, I expect new varieties will be more on the ‘yellow side’ of the shelves, because choices for consumers are still limited in that field.”

Junami harvest affected by frost
The first Junami apples of the new harvest will appear on the market in November. Because of considerable frost damages in Limburg and Zeeland, the prognosis is that the Dutch production of Junami will be about 50 per cent of a regular harvest year, and foreign production will be about 80 per cent. As a consequence of the scarcity of supply, Junami prices will be higher for growers in the coming season, according to Philip. Loyal Dutch customers will be supplied, but retail will have fewer promotions for Junami. The export to Germany will be much lower, and the sales season will finish earlier for Junami than in a regular year.

More information:
Inova Fruit BV
Philip Smits

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