As Kiku Variety Management celebrates 25 years in business, the success of this white-skinned variety points to a bright future for the club apple specialist

Crimson Snow apple

South Tyrolean company Kiku Variety Management has revealed that its trademarked apple brand Crimson Snow has overtaken the group’s original club variety Kiku in terms of production volume for the first time this season.

The red-skinned, white-fleshed apple was discovered by chance in Australia and is now grown in Italy, France, Serbia and Switzerland. With international market demand reportedly strong , production volume has increased steadily since its debut in 2015.

“We’re doing a very nice job with Crimson Snow,” says Jürgen Braun, CEO of Kiku Variety Management. “We have heavyweights on board like Vog and Rivoira, and it’s fun to work with those guys and see something really grow in the orchards and on the market.”

With a crop of 40,000 tonnes this year, the partnership is not far off its ultimate target of 50,000 tonnes. “So in terms of numbers, this is the first year Crimson Snow is more than Kiku,” Braun reveals. “This shows that in variety management our company really has the skills to do clubs.”

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Kiku celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and plans to mark this milestone with a special celebration during Interpoma, the biannual apple industry trade fair which takes place in Bolzano on 21-23 November 2024.

Braun believes the progress it has made in that quarter century has been good. “When buyers ask you, two months in advance, where are those nice Kiku apples, then you know that you have achieved something. Nevertheless, it’s hard work. And I must admit there is some super fancy new stuff around, some very nice eating apples with tropical aromas, juiciness, crunchiness. It’s a great moment for the consumer.”

In the past year, the company’s priority for its Kiku variety has been to connect with consumers, backed by a customary lineup of sporting star ambassadors. “Today, if you go on to our refreshed website, you’ll see we’re fully focusing on the consumer,” Braun explains. “This is nothing new, of course, but it’s really a good moment to emphasise the bright aroma of this apple, the exotic taste, and the juiciness which makes Kiku very unique. We’re trying to make this apple cool and sexy, and we have lots of ideas and plans for the future.”

IT Jurgen Braun Kiku

Jürgen Braun, Kiku Variety Management