The new European Kissabel apple season has kicked off, with harvesting commencing in the UK, France and Switzerland on two coloured-flesh varieties: Kissabel Orange, with its orange skin, pink flesh and strong, refreshing taste; and Kissabel Yellow, with its yellow skin, pink flash and balanced flavour.
According to the Ifored project’s 14 partners, located in 13 countries, the new season looks positive, both in terms of quality and demand.
This season, UK-grown Kissabel apples are reportedly notable for their increased sweetness. “The harvest started in mid-September,” said Anna Coxe, head of technical and quality at Greenyard. “We are very excited and very positive about the new harvest. Our orange and yellow Kissabel varieties show a very good pigmentation and a very consistent internal colour. Their taste is excellent too, with a sweet, almost berry-type flavour. We had great feedback from retailers – they’ve never seen anything like Kissabel before and they are looking forward to the new season.”
“We are expecting a great product,” said Hannah Martin, commercial director at World Wide Fruit. “Apples show overall good quality and are developing a good internal colour. We are expecting great taste too, with high brix levels. Our Kissabel apples will be available from October – we are enthusiastic about the season and about the project. Kissabel are truly unique apples that deliver the ‘wow’ factor to consumers looking for something different.”
According to Marc Peyres, commercial director at Blue Whale in France, the variety’s quality has lived up to expectations.
“The new harvest shows continuity from last year – the apples look good on the outside and they have a nice pink colour inside,” he said. “The taste is delightful too. Kissabel are the first red-flesh apples sold in quantity with success – it’s a completely new thing and we are very happy to be part of the project. There are a lot of new varieties on the market, but Kissabel apples are unique: amazing in the inside, novel-looking and with an excellent taste too.”
“We are very positive about this season,” added François Mestre, co-manager at Mesfruits in France. “Both the outside and inside colours are amazing, the quality is good and consistent with last year. We already have big demand from retailers – clients who had Kissabel apples last year can’t wait to have them again.”
The Ifored project also reported good news from Switzerland. “The harvest seems to be excellent,” said Christian Bertholet, category manager fruits at La Montagne – Union Fruits Fenaco. “The size of the fruits is very good and the external appearance is very nice. With the beginning of the season, we are sending samples to all our customers and also presenting Kissabel at an event with top Swiss chefs. There is huge interest in these new apples.”
Following on from September’s Kissabel Orange harvest, the first Kissabel Red apples will appear in Europe in October. Mainly produced in Italy and Germany, the variety is red both inside and outside, with a flavour described by the project as “intense with notes of berries”.