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T&G Global’s Envy apple brand has had a record season, selling its entire New Zealand crop well before the end of the year.

In 2020, 1.9m tray carton equivalents (TCEs) of New Zealand grown Envy were sold, a 23 per cent increase on the previous year across the US, China and Asia.

This is part of a wider Envy sales programme of 5m TCEs per annum, grown in both hemispheres. With this strong momentum, by 2025 Envy is on track towards generating a NZ$1bn (US$713m) of sales revenue.

Gareth Edgecombe, chief executive of T&G, said despite the volatility and uncertainty caused by Covid-19, Envy sales had been incredibly strong, and the company was moving quickly to plant new trees to meet global consumer demand.

“In the premium apple category there are many new and established varieties, however, Envy continues to be a standout performer. This year it delivered returns on average of NZ$45 (US$32) per TCE to our growers – that’s very close to what we targeted before Covid-19, which is a great return when we know many varieties have had low returns this year,” Edgecombe said.

“The strength of the brand and its orcharding qualities means growers have the potential to make over 15 per cent return on their investment, once their orchard is at full maturity.

Edgecombe said the 2020 sales reinforced the incredible global appetite for Envy apples and forecasts predicted another 25m TCEs would be needed by 2030 to meet consumer demand, particularly in China, Vietnam, Thailand and the US.

“Recent planting will soon produce another 10m TCEs per annum, and we’re investing in market development programmes and further supply growth to make the most of the brand’s significant long-term potential,” said Edgecombe.

“In the 12 years since we first released Envy to Kiwi growers, it’s now grown under licence in 13 countries, sold to consumers in over 60 countries, and in 2019 was voted the number one apple for taste, appearance and texture by consumers in the US.”