Growing Futures

New apples desired by consumers

New apples desired by consumers

Apple cultivars with traits enjoyed by consumers command a premium in export markets

New Zealand produces 300,000 tonnes of apples for export every year, from more than 8,000 hectares of orchard, generating $340 million in export revenue. The pipfruit industry has a target of doubling export revenue by 2025 – as New Zealand has high production costs, older varieties are increasingly being replaced with new varieties that have taste profiles tailored for the discerning consumer and earn a premium in the global marketplace.

Since the mid-1990s, the apple breeding programme has released nine new cultivars to the New Zealand pipfruit industry. These apples now account for more than 17% of total apple exports and earn a premium in offshore markets, such as the UK, Europe and the USA. Many cultivars are also licensed offshore, allowing marketers to offer a year-round supply, building brand loyalty with consumers. Orchard management, harvest and postharvest protocols are developed for each cultivar to ensure optimal quality and a consistent consumer experience.

A global premium

The cultivar ‘SciFresh’, released in 2004 and marketed by ENZA as Jazz® apples, sell for a 30% premium over some other apple cultivars, such as 'Royal Gala' and 'Braeburn', in major UK supermarket chains. Close to 4 million boxes of Jazz® apples are sold to consumers globally throughout the year, with trees planted under licence to ENZA in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, the UK, the USA and Chile.

Recent cultivars have been commercialised through a joint venture company Prevar™ Limited. Prevar cultivars are now being grown under license in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, the UK and Europe. It is estimated that 1.5 million trees will be planted globally by 2018.

Created: September 2013

Share this impact case study: