In the fall of 2022, a new white strawberry variety called Florida Pearl® Brand FL 16 78 109 cv (Florida Pearl) was launched. "We started with large-scale trials in 2022 and officially launched the variety at the 2022 Fruit Attraction show in Madrid," says José Jon García, Commercial Manager for Europe and Africa with Ekland Marketing Company of California (EMCOCAL).
It is a premium white strawberry variety that was developed by Dr. Vance Whitaker at the University of Florida. "Dr. Whitaker selected Florida Pearl for its amazing and beautiful appearance as well as excellent exotic, tropical flavor," said García. It is a sweet strawberry with a pineapple-like aroma that measures an average BRIX of 7.6 percent. The berries are medium to large in size with a conical heart shape. When fully ripened, the fruit is white inside with red seeds on the outside. The skin can have a slight pink blush. "The berries are inspiring chefs and consumers to prepare the most delicious creations."
EMCOCAL is building a global brand, working with selected partners on all continents. In addition to Florida and California in the United States, the company currently has brand partners in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and Morocco. In addition, a few new key target markets have been identified. New Zealand, Australia, South America, Asia, and the Gulf Region offer opportunities for new growers, but also in terms of consumer demand. "We are looking to extend our brand partnerships in these new areas."
The variety is very adaptable and can be grown in many parts of the world as a result. "Therefore, we are confident supply will be available almost 12 months out of the year. In addition to open field production, we are currently in the process of trialing material in high-tech greenhouses," commented García. "That would allow us to cover year-round production closer to consumer markets."
Florida Pearl is sold at a premium price due to the very limited supply of fruit available. "In addition, the high-quality specifications, as well as the packaging formats being used, require a premium." García expects Florida Pearl to be of interest to consumers looking for a new experience. In addition, the fruit can be found in the kitchens of top restaurants. "Its firmness and texture offer consistent favorable post-harvest qualities that makes the variety very suitable for export markets."
Florida Pearl will be in the spotlight at the upcoming Fruit Logistica show in Berlin. Visit the EMCOCAL team and learn about their strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry varieties at Hall 8.2, stand B.52.
For more information:
José Jon García
Ekland Marketing Company of California
Tel.: (+1) 530 345 4476