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Pink Lady a worldwide success

Pink Lady is one of the most successful club varieties in recent years. Sales and production of the apple just keep on growing. Why is the Pink Lady so successful?

The success of the apple, according to Pink Lady Europe, is mainly due to its characteristics. "The striking appearance, shape, smell, taste and texture; these make it one of the most popular apples in Europe." A study by CTIFL in France last year, also showed Pink Lady to be the favourite apple of children (because of appearance and taste). According to the study, the enduring success is partly due to loyal fans. Pink Lady values the opinions and experiences of consumers.

The origins of Pink Lady lie in Australia. The apple was developed by breeder John Cripps, and is essentially a cross between existing apple varieties Lady Williams and Golden Delicious. The first harvest of the variety Cripps Pink took place in 1979, and after further selection, the patent was registered in 1992. Today, the trademark has been registered in more than 80 countries. Only the best apples of the Cripps Pink variety are marketed under the trademark Pink Lady®. Rosy Glow is a natural mutation of the Cripps Pink variety, and also allowed under the Pink Lady brand. The Cripps Pink, according to the World Apple Report, ranks nr. 13 on the global apple production scale (excluding China). It is expected that the variety will inhabit the ninth place by 2020. This represents an increase to 2.28% of the world apple production.

The variety requires a growing period of 200 days, and a warm climate. Temperate regions are less suitable for cultivation. The apple is still grown in Australia, but by now production has spread all over the world, including New Zealand, Canada and the United States. For the new season (2014/15) a production of 150,000 tons is expected, an increase of 20% compared to last season (2013/2014). The season of the northern hemisphere starts in November and runs until the end of May. In the southern hemisphere, Pink Lady apples are grown in South America, South Africa and Oceania.

The operating license of Pink Lady Europe is in the hands of Star Fruits, a group of growers that exclusively represents the variety in Europe. Star Fruits manages the plant material and determines the cultivation policy of the variety in Europe, contracts having been made with more than 2,800 growers in France, Italy and Spain. Star Fruits also grants the licenses to authorized distributors of the variety. 14 licenses are divided between the three producing countries.

UK and other markets
Pink Lady is exceptionally popular in the UK, with a market share of about 11%. The Pink Lady apples, in an initial supply of 500 boxes, came to the British Isles in 1992. Licensee Coregeo Ltd. now sells about 3.5 million cases per year. This puts the apple in the top three bestselling apples in the UK. The effort being made to market the Pink Lady is very large. In London, women dressed up as a pink lady handed out apples at train stations, and there was a partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital.

According to Pink Lady Europe, the apple has surpassed all expectations in the UK: "It’s the second most eaten apple. Numerous media attention, but also consideration from non-media such as supermarkets, has certainly contributed to this. In addition, the characteristics of the apple, including the distinctive hue, shape, and scent , the juicy flesh, and the crispness combined with the sweet and sour taste, fit the needs of the British consumer perfectly." However, the chief market for Pink Lady Europe is Germany, followed by the UK, France, Belgium and Italy. New markets such as Asia and the Middle East are becoming increasingly important as well.
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