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Tom Joyce

BY TOM JOYCE

@tomfruitnet

Friday 29th October 2021, 10:44 Central Time

Flavour key to Kissabel growth

It may be the coloured flesh of Kissabel that grabs the attention, but it is flavour that is the future of the apple brand's segmentation, says Ifored

Flavour key to Kissabel growth

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In November, the apple with the red peel and red flesh from the Ifored programme, Kissabel Rouge, is set to arrive on the Italian, German and US markets amid high demand. 

In addition to its colour, Kissabel Rouge is noted for its freshness, crunch and flavour, according to Ifored, which sees the last as key to the future segmentation of the brand. 

“With the reddish-pink flesh having already captured the imagination of consumers, the next step is to guide them towards their favourite apple on the basis of the different flavours, from the delicacy of the yellow- and orange-peel varieties to the intense flavour of Rouge,” said Emmanuel de Lapparent, manager of the Ifored programme.

The aim for 2025, according to Ifored, is to establish the brand as the "outright leader" on the coloured-flesh variety market.  

“The harvest is good," confirmed Fabio Zanesco, sales and marketing manager at Italian cooperative VIP. "Kissabel Rouge has found the ideal environment among our mountains with an Alpine and Mediterranean climate that has coloured the apples perfectly both on the outside and the inside. We will arrive on the market slightly behind schedule, for November-December. We forecast greater total volumes compared with last year, with a medium-small size this season. Demand and interest in our main markets is high so we are expecting a positive campaign.”   

Other producers like Rivoira in Piedmont are in the earlier stages, with just a few hectares devoted to Kissabel Rouge.

"We are at the test phase both in Italy and Spain where we have given the Rouge to a selection of contacts: an unprecedented success, everybody wants it," said Marco Rivoira. "25ha will be planted next year and we will begin commercial production. These apples are superb in quality, something we have been able to confirm just by tasting the fruit directly from the tree, without using any preservation processes. The variety is growing really well in our production zones both aesthetically speaking, with its intense colour, and in particular in terms of flavour. We have great belief in this apple: we are certain that in a few years it will become the future of the red-flesh apple, both in terms of quality and range.”  

“For now we are still testing and learning to choose the best zones for growing high-quality Kissabel apples here in Washington state,” explained Brianna Shales, marketing director of US-based Stemlit Growers, a member of NBT, the Next Big Thing Growers Cooperative. “All in all, our harvest has produced apples of good size, colour and appearance. We will carry out tastings both in stores and at trade shows in November with the aim of marketing the apples to North American retailers in the next few years.” 

“Although our harvest is also slightly late this year, the quality of the internal colouring of the Kissabel Rouge is perfect," said Alessia Marquart, marketing manager of Red Apple Germany, "a key factor given that its main characteristic is its red flesh. In terms of volume we are starting at the early stages but in the next few years we plan to increase our sales volumes tenfold in order to satisfy both domestic and international demand." 

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