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The English Apple Man


9th Jun 2023 - Branded apples

In the Journal for 19th May 2023 The English Apple debating the future prosperity (?) of UK apple growers, said; "Probably the only home grown apples able to earn a small profit at the moment are the Branded Club varieties. Like Jazz and Pink Lady".


Poignantly - an article in The Good Fruit Grower magazine discusses the very subject of Branded varieties....


Apple varieties all around the world


Walter Guerra poses in the middle of his apple-shaped "Variety Garden," a display of 60 branded apple varieties from around the globe, set up in the lobby of the Interpoma trade show in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy.


The International Fruit Tree Association tour of Italy in November included a stop at Interpoma.(Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)


At a local Italian trade show 10 years ago, Walter Guerra displayed every managed apple variety he could find. He ended up with 30.


In November 2023 at Interpoma in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy, that number topped 60.

Displayed in glass cases and arranged in the shape of an apple, Guerra's "Variety Garden" illustrated how heavily the world's progressive apple-producing regions have bet on branding to stand out from commodity fruit.


"So, everywhere, people are asking, 'Is it too much?' or 'Do we have the right varieties?'" said Guerra, head of the Institute for Fruit Growing and Viticulture at South Tyrol's Laimburg Research Centre and one of the organizers of Interpoma, a global apple trade show. "We did this varietal exposition here just to animate a little bit of discussion."


Not all those varieties will win this game, experts said, but not everyone is shooting at the same goal, either. Different regions breed for different traits, and markets have their own personalities and price structures.


Extracts from a story published by Ross Courtney // June 8, 2023 for The Good Fruit Grower


The English Apple Man Comments


Below: Cox Orange Pippin


In the UK we had an 'unofficially' Branded Apple called Cox Orange Pippin which from the end of World War 2 until circa 1970's stood head and shoulders above any other variety for profitability.


The introduction of new heavier cropping varieties imported from Northern and Southern Hemispheres, particularly Gala and Breaburn from New Zealand during the late 1980's early 1990' rapidly stole the place of Cox. Gala rapidly became the 'number one' selling dessert apple, and grown in every fruit growing country, was THE commodity apple.


Then Braeburn added to the competition and with its crisp and juicy flavour and much better natural shelf life than Cox, our previously rated 'National Apple' faded into near obscurity.
















Then the branded apple emerged; Cripps Pink an Australian apple bred by Mr Cripps and named Cripps Pink' and branded as PINK LADY became the most commercially successful variety. Soon every breeder globally was chasing the dream of the next Pink Lady.


One of the first, and most successful to date was bred in New Zealand with a cross between GALA & BREABURN.


Below: left. Pink Lady and right. Jazz



JAZZ is the most profitable apple grown in the UK!




Back to Ross Courtney' article.....


Different places, different traits!


For example, disease resistance is a priority in Europe, where regulations on chemical use are stricter than in the United States. Resistance is one of the first questions Kevin Brandt fields during license discussions.


"If I can't provide that, they don't have interest in moving forward," said Brandt, vice president of Proprietary Variety Management in Yakima, Washington.


Trademarked European apples such as the French-bred Story and Italian-bred RedPop both are pitched as resistant to apple scab, a fungal disease common in humid climates of Europe, New York and Michigan. (A note to readers: In this story we identify varieties by their brand names rather than cultivar names to minimize confusion.)


Brandt's Fruit Trees is to begin commercializing a new apple variety called Story, which was bred by French institute INRAE.


Below: left. Story apples and right. RedPop apple



Meanwhile, European consumer tastes skew toward traditional, tart and dense. Pink Lady is the top brand in Europe.


PINK LADY in England


Also, Europe has many markets in many countries, said Steve Clement of Sage Fruit Co., a Central Washington marketing company, as he browsed new varieties on the Interpoma trade show floor.


The continent has giant retailers equivalent to Walmart or Costco, but it also has more produce stands, smaller stores and more overall diversity in shopping experiences, so there may be more room for more varieties, Clement said. "All these guys that have new varieties, I don't think they're going to every retailer in Europe with the same varieties," he said.


In America, branded varieties capture a larger share of the market each year and continue to grow in dollar sales - a 21 percent jump in 2022 - though overall apple consumption is still declining, according to Nielsen data. That means the increases in branded sales are not making up for the losses in the traditional varieties they displace, said Barnes, who also spoke at Interpoma.



Click on The Good Fruit Grower for Ross Courtney's Article in Full


The English Apple Man has been in a few orchards this week and to date 'it is still too early too predicting the crop potential for this year!



That is all for this week


Take care


The English Apple Man