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Opal® - the new apple is golden

Global marketers, customers all want a genuine & enticing apple

The trademark owner of Opal®, GmbH, recently invited approximately 30 participants to meet at Lake Constance in Germany, to share their experiences with the new disease tolerant apple cultivar‚ UEB 32642. The apple cultivar is a cross of the Golden Delicious‚ and the Topaz.

The Opal® Brand was successfully launched in 2013/2014 season in the United Kingdom and Hannah Surtees, Marketing Director of Univeg UK, explains, "All major British retailers are enthusiastic and convinced, that Opal® is unique and adds value to the whole category."

First impressions of the apple leave consumers associating its warm golden colour, as soft, floury, left over, old and tasteless. Once eaten, their comments change into descriptions of it being crisp, juicy, refreshing, sweet and tasty, everything an apple should be. Therefore, the main objectives for the upcoming 2014 /2015 season are clear: to attract more consumers through various marketing channels.

According to project manager Univeg UK Robert Jarvis, "The primary objective is to grow the Opal® apple locally for UK customers in the beginning and then to step it up to 1,000 tons.“ The first arrivals from New Zealand and Chile in June 2014 showed the overall global potential for the apple. "Despite sunburn and some minor cosmetic defects from young trees, the genuine Opal® flavour was present." according to Robert Jarvis. This is good news for both apple growers in the Southern Hemisphere and UK retailers in regards to building up a year round supply base.

Innovation takes time. The hurdle across the Atlantic, from North America to the United Kingdom, has been accomplished. Today Broetje Orchards in Washington State, USA is by far the biggest grower of Opal® apples in the world. On the European Continent, SanLucar is the first company who discovered the apple's uniqueness and has taken the lead by launching the Opal® in Germany and Austria.

A Swiss Consumer Study revealed: "Even consumers who usually don’t like ‚Golden Delicious‘ would buy Opal® apples if they knew how well the apple tasted".

Further commercial pilot orchards have been established in France, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain, Serbia, Czech Republic and Hungary.

For more information:
Michael Weber GmbH
Tel: +49 7543 912 926
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