Spanish persimmon growers are predicting healthy sales for the 2015-16 season with production expected to be close to the 80,000 tonnes produced in 2014.
Last year saw a sales increase of 67 per cent on the previous year in the UK market, and growers in Spain’s Ribera del Xúquer region say this trend is set to continue following marketing activity among consumers and retailers. This season’s crop will be available in the UK from October until the end of January.
Rafael Perucho, head of the regulatory council Kaki de la Ribera del Xúquer, which controls the PDO certification of Spanish persimmon, said: “Every year we see more British shoppers buying this fruit for the first time. And once they’ve tried it, they become regular consumers.
“There has been nothing since the kiwifruit first arrived onto the market that has stimulated the level of interest that persimmon is doing, so it is a question of promoting on an ongoing basis to ensure more people notice and pick up this fruit.”
This year’s promotional activity will focus on education and sampling, while activity in the multiple retailers includes usage instructions on packs, shopper tastings and retailer website advertising. The campaign will also include work with journalists, bloggers and schools.
Perucho said: “We expect a similar season to last year in terms of volume and quality and even expect some fruit to be larger as there is less fruit on the trees.
“The new plantings have started to yield fruit and are thus compensating for the lower volumes – hence output will be similar to the volume produced in 2014.”
María José Sevilla, director of promotional body Foods from Spain, said: “The growth in sales of persimmon in the UK market is a great success story for Spain and demonstrates the very best of what our modern fresh produce industry has to offer: high quality, exciting products that UK consumers love, professionally produced, delivered and marketed.”