Jazz blossom

Suppliers have expressed confidence for a good Jazz apple season on the back of excellent growing conditions in New Zealand.

Thanks to a strong 2019/20 crop, availability of Jazz is expected to remain robust, with French and Italian fruit set to remain available alongside the New Zealand crop up until mid-June.

Jon East, trading manager of Worldwide Fruit, said of upcoming New Zealand Jazz: “The first harvests are now underway and the crop is looking in great shape, with fantastic colour coming through on the first picked fruit.

'The tree vigour is strong with a high level of nutrients being fed through to the leaves and roots, which in turn is helping to support an even and consistent growth pattern. We expect to see good pressures and brix levels on the early-season fruit. The recent warm weather that both the Nelson and Hawkes Bay regions have enjoyed, along with the consistent night time temperatures of 3C, have also really helped to support external aesthetics and overall taste profile.”

Kantar figures show that Jazz apple sales continue to rise in the UK, with consumer spend for the last 12 weeks reaching £12.5m, an increase of 21.8 per cent versus the previous year as lockdown Brits look for healthier options.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the brand has targeted growing its reach and sales through a range of marketing activities, including a Jazz Apple Recipe Book and a consumer recipe competition on its social media channels.

Victoria Cliff, marketing manager at Worldwide Fruit, added: “It’s obviously been a difficult time for many people and businesses but we’re pleased to see that the love for Jazz apples continues to grow. The UK season started in the best possible way with Jazz once again winning the UK’s Tastiest Apple title and that has certainly been backed up with the latest Kantar figures. With a busy schedule of activity planned for the southern hemisphere season, we’re looking forward to our apples reaching the hands of even more consumers!”