New Zealand’s Newest Apple Dazzles in China

New Zealand’s newest apple, Dazzle™, bedazzled customers in Shanghai recently during demos conducted at several Hema stores. Says Mr Apple Global Sales and Marketing Manager Ben McLeod, “This is our first promotional push to consumers for Dazzle and we are really pleased with the results.”

Dazzle™ is a brand new, large, red, sweet apple develop by New Zealand’s Plant and Food Research over the past 20 years. Bred for characteristics targeting Asian consumer taste preferences, the apple does not disappoint. Its pure sweet flavour with minimal background acidity makes it unique in the competitive space of sweet apples. Couple this with its very crisp, almost watermelon-like crunch and you have a winning apple combination for Asia.

“We soft launched Dazzle™ at Asia Fruit 2019, introducing our retailers and trade partners to this new beauty. They loved the size, the consistent red colour and sweet, crisp texture and the fact Dazzle™ is very shelf stable and sells fast because it looks great and eats well all season long,” says McLeod. He notes that while there have been numerous block red apples released in the last five years, Dazzle’ s secret to success is the fact it looks great, eats well and performs incredibly well throughout export and distribution to market.

Consumers flocked to the apple during recent in-store demos, proving the apple is not just popular with trade customers, but consumers too. Says Lisa Cork, Special Projects Manager for Mr Apple, “Demo feedback shows consumers loved the colour and the sweet taste. Because this is a special variety bred for a specific taste preference, it is great to see consumers embracing Dazzle™ for the crispy, sweet taste they love in apples.”

To differentiate Dazzle™ on the retail shelf, Mr Apple launched specially branded, eco-friendly 4 packs which were a hit. Notes Cork, “In China, high value apples need the differentiation of packaging to drive the brand and capture consumer attention. By focussing on an eco-friendly cardboard pack, we achieved the branding we wanted to achieve but in a more environmentally friendly way.”

Within New Zealand and globally, the mood is positive regarding Dazzle’s potential as the rising star of apples. Current projected volumes show an increase from 100,000 cartons in 2020 to 230,000 cartons in 2021. Globally, volume will increase significantly over time.

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