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Maxim De Roeck, Fruitful Berries:

"With enough attention, blackberries certainly have marketing potential"

Introducing the new Sweet Royalla variety marks a potential turning point for the blackberry sector. The Sweet Royalla's improved flavor and shelf life make it a game-changer, leading to demand for larger packages. Maxim De Roeck of the Dutch company Fruitful Berries notes that while soft fruits are generally gaining popularity, blackberries lag due to the need for a sweeter variety. Maxim emphasizes that to boost consumption, there should be frequent retail promotions, similar to successful strategies with other soft fruit varieties.

Maxim de Roeck (l).

"The blackberry market is good. We've come from a high-quality import market, which drove consumption. That certainly held up against local cultivation. Volumes are similar to last year, and because those were just right from the start, prices are only slightly lower," says Maxim. He is optimistic about that market, pointing out the new introductions.

Regarding redcurrants, another Fruitful Berries focus, he mentions the strong demand for early greenhouse crops, resulting in high market prices. Maxim highlights the challenges of fresh redcurrant consumption. That comes down to their flavour profile and preparation requirements, which affect consumption patterns. He suggests that bringing in a new, sweeter variety could increase popularity, much like Sweet Royalla's impact on blackberries.

As for cherries, De Roeck says people love local production, as opposed to the challenges of international competition and weather. He points to the popularity of well-known varieties such as Regina and Kordia, adding that because cherry trees have a long growth cycle, it takes a long time to introduce new varieties.

Maxim sees market potential, provided growers and retailers work together on strategies to manage production peaks and price fluctuations, as is done with blueberries and strawberries. He stresses the importance of a planned seasonal approach to avoid oversupply and stimulate demand throughout the year.

For more information:
Maxim De Roeck
Venrayseweg 106B
5928 RH Venlo
[email protected]