South African exporters of Flash Gala have reported on a successful 2024 campaign in the East, Middle East and Africa

Flash Gala Tru-Cape China

Flash Gala exporters launched an extensive integrated campaign in the Far East and the Middle East this season to promote consumer awareness of the fruit.

The wine-red variety is currently the fastest-growing new South African apple.

“It is the third year of exporting Flash Gala to China and India, and the volumes are increasing every year,” said Conrad Fick, marketing director at Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing.

“With the current campaign, we aim to reach consumers on a much larger scale than last year. To date, we have reached approximately 20 per cent more consumers than at the same time last year.”

Tru-Cape Marketing is one of the leading exporters of apples to the Far East and South East Asia.

“The idea is to promote Flash Gala as a stand-alone brand in international markets like China, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa,” he explained. ”Flash Gala apples from the current season have been on the shelves in these countries for the past three weeks.

“By all accounts Flash Gala, with its attractive, bright red appearance, has been received very well in these markets, and is fast becoming a top-seller.”

The campaign relies heavily on social media channels such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Weibo, WeChat, and Douyin. Leading social media influencers will reportedly help spread the word about the variety.

“As we speak, three Chinese and ten Indian influencers are posting about the health benefits, quality, colour, and wonderful, sweet taste of Flash Gala,” said Fick.

The popular Woody, Panpanmao, and LiLi are the brand’s influencer representatives in China. In India, Pooja Khanna, Vishakha (1teaspoonlove), Pragati Pawar (myfoodiealley), and Pia Thawani are among the influencers promoting the brand.

Several videos are also shared on the brand’s social media platforms to increase reach and engagement, generate sales through a quality narrative, and establish brand recognition locally and internationally, according to Fick.

“In China, we’re using kawaii to connect with consumers, while we focus more on sports – especially cricket – and recipes in India as a way of brand communication. We’ve developed the campaign around lifestyle advantages for the UAE,” he explained. 

The campaigns, which kicked off at the end of February in China, will run for several weeks during the Flash Gala season in these countries.

The campaign is supported by certain retailers and wholesalers, who will have special displays in their stores, exhibit Flash Gala apples, and offer tastings to consumers.

Flash Gala is an improved Gala mutation, discovered by Tru-Cape’s new variety expert Buks Nel in 2011.

Since 2015, when it received plant breeder’s rights, plantings have totalled over a million trees. The Flash Gala brand is a registered trademark for fruit that meets the colour specification from the Bigbucks tree.

Excitement for the brand continues to grow in the Far East, Middle East, and South Africa.

“As a Royal Gala clone, the variety perfectly fits consumers’ taste profiles in the East and South Africa,” noted Fick, who pointed out that the sales tempo was exceeding expectations and consumers were increasingly returning for more.

“We’re hoping to educate and inform consumers about Flash Gala as a superior Gala mutation and believe the attractiveness and eating experience will live up to the expectations,” he concluded.