Consortium reports excellent quality and active markets as 2023 campaign gets under way

Vog has started it 2023 campaign with the harvesting of the first Royal Gala and SweeTango varieties in mid-August. The Bolzano-based consortium, whose 4,600 members make it one of Europe’s leading table apple producers, said the quality of this year’s crop is excellent thanks to an abundant water supply and good temperature range between day and night.

Vog harvest

“This year, we can once again guarantee our customers 12-month availability of a large assortment of quality apples, in which everyone can find the right fruit for their needs,” said CEO Walter Pardatscher. “Now the challenge will be to navigate the complexities of the markets and production costs in order to fully recognise our members’ commitment and expertise.”

In terms of market demand, Vog noted that the first signs are positive. Sales manager Klaus Hölzl commented: “In contrast to the previous season, this year there already seems to be room in all our main markets. We are seeing dynamic and lively demand and a market that is open to both integrated and organic production.”

After last year’s drop in production, Vog said Royal Gala quantities have returned to the levels of previous harvests. Levels are also average for Golden Delicious, while Granny Smith and Red Delicious will see a slight decline, in line with the rest of Italian production. Fuji and Braeburn complete the main traditional varieties, which to date account for the largest share of the quantities harvested by the Consortium.

Production volumes of the more established club varieties like Pink Lady, Kanzi, Jazz, Envy and Yello are also stable, while the consortium expects significant growth in new varieties Cosmic Crisp, Giga, RedPop, Joya, Crimson Snow and SweeTango as last year’s new plantings become more productive.

Organic production, which accounts for 10 per cent of Vog’s total planted area, is also stable, while expectations regarding the quality of the organic crop are very high.

Vog said it has lined up an innovative and diverse marketing campaign for the new season with a strong focus on trade marketing and points of sale.

According to marketing manager Hannes Tauber, the wide range of varieties and brands the consortium offers are the key to creating an attractive and colourful produce department for consumers.

“Given the substantial number of apples, marketing has to work like an orchestra,” he said. “Each brand also has its own unique identity, reaching its target audience with its specific image.

“This is why we have implemented annual planning, which avoids overlaps and highlights the different identities of our apples in the right contexts and at the right times. The goal is to support our customers in reaching consumers, increasing sales and enhancing the apple category.”

One of the first campaigns to launch will be for Marlene, the “Daughter of the Alps”, which will expand the concept of the aroma wheel, origin and taste to create added value around the more classic varieties. Late August, meanwhile, will mark the start of the marketing for SweeTango, presented as “summer in an apple”.

In October, the spotlight will be on Kanzi, with a campaign focusing on energy, Envy, which will continue with the theme of the five senses and its premium positioning, and gourmet variety Yello.

November will see the start of the commercial campaign for Pink Lady, the last variety to be harvested. The second half of the season will once again focus on Cosmic Crisp, Giga and RedPop varieties that are particularly well suited to withstand a period of coldstorage.