Blanc Seedless grapes

Blanc Seedless grapes are grown in Chile, Peru and Spain

White seedless grape variety Blanc Seedless could fill a difficult window in grape supply to the UK between April and June, according to one breeder and marketer.

Chilean company Polar Fresh Group, which also has offices in Barcelona, Peru and the US, holds exclusive rights for the variety, and has ambitions for its Pristine brand to become “the Pink Lady of the grape world”.

Polar Fresh was exhibiting yesterday (9 June) at the London Produce Show, held in London at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

Grown in Chile from March to June, Blanc Seedless is also in production in Spain from September, the USA from August to October, and from December in Peru. By 2019, global production is expected to more than double with volumes forecasted to reach 9,586 million kgs. It is also grown in Australia between March and April.

The company’s Andrés Kuznar said it is trying to build awareness of the variety, particular in the UK and Scandinavia, before beginning marketing for the brand.

“There is no competition in that window from April, May and June – there is no really good white seedless variety available then.We are already co-branding with retailers in Norway and Dubai, so this is something we could build on,' he said.

'The Chilean fruit arrive late in the southern hemisphere season, and just before the start of the northern season. With Spain, early grapes are harvested in July/August, while this variety crops in September, when there are no other good varieties and so it can fill the gap before the start of the southern hemisphere.'

Kuznar acknowledged the relative difficulty of listing fresh produce brands in UK retailers, but noted examples such as Zespri kiwifruit or Pink Lady apples as success stories to be replicated.

“We have sent four containers to Morrisons as a trial this season with Chilean fruit. We will also send some Spanish fruit this autumn so they can test that as well,' he added.

The US remains the biggest market for Polar Fresh, but the company has identified the UK and Scandinavia as having the biggest growth potential.

Blanc Seedless was developed by US breeder Anton Caratan.Polar Fresh Group is part of the Vidaurri Group of companies, which operate throughout Latin America and the US.