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Harrie Septer, Fruitmasters:

“Global demand for greetings apples for Christmas”

For more than 25 years, Harrie Septer has been selling greetings apples for Fruitmasters. “We used to have a lot of German messages, but nowadays, English and Scandinavian messages are doing particularly well. We also have many greetings apples depicting Santa Claus and horse-sleighs, which are universal and can be sold anywhere,” Septer explains. “We have two cultivators who grow the greetings apples for us. Normally about 200,000 apples, but this year had massive losses after the warm weather in September, so supply is about 25 per cent lower. That is quite a drain on the cultivators, it was quite a job for them to place a sticker on every apple. That is why we are trying to keep prices a bit higher this year.”

“Sales are very diverse. The apples end up with (catering) wholesalers and via our exporters and our own export department they also end up in Iceland, South Africa and Hong Kong. It is actually a bit unbelievable where they all end up. We used to sent a lot of greetings apples to the Russian market, but that stopped with the boycott,” Septer explains. According to him, the greetings apples are an independent market, price-technically. “We sell them singly. Selling price is between 50 and 70 cent.”

Septer says there is not much competition for the greetings apples. “We are the last of the Mohicans. Many parties started in recent years, but they also stopped. It is quite a lot of work to organise, and you have to be able to sell them. After Christmas, you have no use for Santa apples. There was a yearly increase during the first few years, but demand has become fairly stable in recent years. I always tell my cultivators I do not want to expand, because it is not the kind of product to peddle.”

According to Septer, Christmas continues to be the period to sell greetings apples. “We also have Valentine’s Day apples, but those only have about five days before demand completely disappears. We have Easter apples as well, but those sales are not comparable to Christmas. For example, one year we gave all of the remaining Easter apples to Van der Valk hotels, which placed them in all the rooms.”

For more information:
Harrie Septer
Verkoop Retail Fruitmasters Holland
T: +31 (0)345 578 816
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