Branded club apple Crimson Snow appears on track to establish 700ha of production by 2022 in order to meet reported high demand for the red-skinned, white-fleshed apple, which offers long storage times, good durability along the supply chain and a marketing period towards the latter half the European season.

Click here to listen to Mike Knowles’ interview with members of the Crimson Snow marketing group at Fruit Logistica in Berlin.

At Fruit Logistica 2018 in Berlin, the Crimson Snow marketing partnership welcomed its newest member, French group Mesfruits, which is poised to extend the variety’s supply base and develop sales in France itself.

That extension follows the recent addition of other key producing partners, including Vog in Italy, Iseppi Frutta in Switzerland and Verda Vivo/Agrounija in Serbia, the latter having what is currently a unique opportunity to develop sales in Russia.

Each of the member suppliers has signed up to plant sizeable areas of land with Crimson Snow, which is reportedly commanding prices similar to those seen for premium variety Pink Lady.

The other major consortium partners are Italian firms Rivoira and Sanifrutta, as well as founding South Tyrolean companies Fratelli Clementi, which developed the variety from a chance Australian seedling called mc38, and Kiku Variety Management, which is responsible for managing the brand worldwide.

In terms of production area already in place, Fratelli Clementi currently has around 150ha, Rivoira and Sanifrutta have around 100ha each, Vog has around 20ha and Verda Vivo/Agrounija 30ha, with Mesfruits getting underway with its first five hectares this season.

Spanish target

In the meantime, the marketing consortium is now preparing to roll out a series of promotion and communications activities, all of them revolving around the great feeling that eating a Crimson Snow apple can offer.

A marketing launch is expected very soon in Spain, where a modified and redesigned brand identity will enable easier pronunciation and understanding of the name, referring to the product as La Manzana Que Se Lleva. A new website and Instagram account will also support the Spanish programme.

“The variety is very sustainable: robust, easy to grow and environmentally friendly,” comments Kiku’s Jürgen Braun. “The consumers love the red colour and the ‘snow-white’ flesh.”

Another advantage cited by the project’s partners is the apple’s long storage potential, which is said to make Crimson Snow ideal for the second half of the season, when other varieties are already sold or losing quality.

“In this period there is with Crimson Snow a locally produced apple in the market with no need to rely on imports from the Southern Hemisphere,” Braun adds.

Speaking in Berlin, Eraldo Barale of Sanifrutta told Fruitnet: “We expect that the 100ha we have planned will be in place by 2019. We’ve started packing the product this year for the first time. We’re very happy with the variety and I believe we’ve had excellent results in terms of quality and colour. There seems to be a lot of interest among growers in producing this variety.”

He added: “We’re developing Crimson Snow with our production partners both in Piedmont and South Tyrol. It’s certainly going to be an apple that is, let’s say, to European tastes, so popular in the southern part of Europe as well as central areas like Germany. We’re hopeful this will be an apple for Europe and in fact for the world. That’s our goal.”

Click here to listen to Mike Knowles’ interview with members of the Crimson Snow marketing group at Fruit Logistica in Berlin.