Recently appointed by Sun World Innovations to import and market its line of proprietary grape varieties, North American importer Oppy is set to offer fruit grown in any Southern Hemisphere country in alignment with market demand.
“This is meaningful for Oppy because it broadens our grape portfolio with many of the exciting varieties our customers are seeking,” said Bill Poulos, grape category director. “We’re honoured to have been selected among the handful of marketers granted a standard import license, which enables us to partner with a wide span of growers throughout the Southern Hemisphere - and beyond - in this innovative programme.”
The new varieties include those marketed under varietal brands such as green Autumncrisp, black Midnight Beauty and red Scarlotta Seedless among other promising new grape types.
Poulos noted that the new varieties have distinct characteristics like enhanced flavour, crunch, ease of production and shelf life.
In the 2018/19 grape import season, Oppy doubled the volume of new grape varieties it offered from other nurseries as well as the open varieties.
With Sun World varieties complementing its current programme and creating considerable scale, the team at Oppy will be mapping out retail programmes for grapes from South America soon.
Sun World recently divested its growing operations to focus on variety development and licensing. To achieve the appointment, Oppy completed a comprehensive application covering sales, marketing, importing, QC and logistics practices, and demonstrated its brand management capabilities.
“Our experience with introducing new items like Jazz and Envy apples and Zespri SunGold kiwifruit, among others, enables us to approach this initiative with a solid understanding of what it takes to establish new varieties on the shelf,” Poulos said. “It’s an exciting time to be in the grape category, with a wide range of varieties produced by top growers in several countries.