At Fruit Logistica, the Consortium presented the developments in the reorganisation that has resulted in coordination of all production chain phases. The trend for the 2023-2024 sales campaign is encouraging
VOG – Home of apples confirms its status as an apple category benchmark with reorganisation for ever-greater efficiency, product specialisation and a variety and brand assortment able to add value to the fruit and vegetable department all 12 months of the year. All these factors were underlined at Fruit Logistica 2024, where the Consortium highlighted its role as a leading player in the international fruit and vegetable world and exchanged ideas on the future of the trade with customers, partners and professionals.
A new organisation
In Berlin, the Consortium provided details of the development of its internal organisation. In fact, after centralising its sales VOG now serves the market with a new internal structure. This process, which began some time ago, has now moved into a new phase, which is delivering ever-greater efficiency. Today, the Consortium’s commercial partners enjoy the benefits of a single point of reference for their procurement and category management needs. This evolution has also completed the vertical integration of the production chain: VOG is a system that embraces production, processing, storage, packaging, and distribution.
“This organisational approach brings many advantages in terms of efficiency and better control of processes, with an improvement in our already high level of service and in the dialogue between apple farmers, retailers and consumers,” states VOG CEO Walter Pardatscher. “This is all combined with our in-depth specific expertise in one single product, the apple, which plays a central role in fruit and vegetable departments all over the world. Therefore, customers can count on our Home of apples for any apple-related requirements and for inputs on management of the category in the store.”
Fruit Logistica was also an opportunity for taking stock of the trend in sales and the progress of the current campaigns. VOG reports a positive situation for the varieties and brands that went onto the market in autumn, with destocking in line with its plans.
“While Royal Gala was the leading apple in the initial phase of sales, we are now experiencing good demand for all our varieties, because they each have their own consumers and market,” explains Sales Manager Klaus Hölzl. “In Europe we’re seeing positive conditions, with Italy and Spain responding well to the new varieties and the German market performing well. For the other destinations, the season got off to a very strong start. The Middle East continues to be our main market, although Central/South America is growing in spite of the challenges arising from the distances involved.”
Future prospects are also encouraging. “We’re expecting the market in the coming months to be good: as other fruit and vegetable products disappear, we will still be present with our high quality apples,” Mr Hölzl continues. “Then from May onwards it will depend on consumption trends and weather conditions, but in general we’re predicting that the situation will be under control.”
The right apple for every requirement
The communication campaigns on the brands in the Consortium’s assortment, one of the widest and most complete in the trade, are proceeding together with sales. They are a fundamental factor in helping consumers to choose the apple that suits them best.
“Offering the right apple for every requirement means a vision that extends beyond the product’s sensory characteristics, focusing on the cultivation of brands that relate to the various consumers’ lifestyles, tastes and values,” explains VOG Marketing Manager Hannes Tauber. “Therefore, every one of the new apples we’ve placed on the market in recent years has a precise identity and addresses a specific audience. Our policy has been not to increase output but to focus on the value of the category, to engage with apple consumers and attract more people to join their number.”
One of the chief campaigns starting in February is Cosmic Crisp®, which starred in an event of its own at Fruit Logistica, where the Berlin dawn sky provided the backdrop for this sensational apple’s heavenly taste. The sky is central to the brand’s communication, with a sunset roadshow which will offer a lifestyle experience to a vast pool of consumers in Italy, Spain, and Germany.
The Marlene® campaign will also get back under way in February, inviting consumers to take a culinary journey to the brand’s home area, South Tyrol – Südtirol. After we used the Aroma Wheel to explore Marlene® apples’ incredible variety of flavours, fragrances and consistencies, and explored their gourmet side through our partnership with chef Norbert Niederkofler, the new projects will write a new chapter in this story, directly involving consumers in the creation of new recipes and inviting them to the home of the Daughter of the Alps.
“In a scenario that embraces a large number of brands, consumer communication must be orchestral,” Mr Tauber continues. “Apples, their world and their context are recounted symphonically, to increase the category’s perceived value, with ‘solos’ by the individual brands that emerge at given times of year to link each specific product with its own values, lifestyles and consumer promises.”
This approach can be clearly seen in brands such as Marlene®, Pink Lady®, Kanzi® and envy™, which will be continuing their respective sales and marketing campaigns in the coming weeks. The second part of the season will also showcase the magnificent firm, fragrant Giga®, the perfect apple for sharing in spring and summer. There’s also a mood of eager anticipation regarding RedPop®, the very sweet apple-shaped snack that’s already achieved success in the UK and in other markets.
VOG, Home of apples
The Consortium of South Tyrolean Fruit Growers’ Co-operatives has the right apple for every month of the year, grown by integrated production and organic methods.
Founded in 1945, VOG comprises 11 cooperatives with 4,600 family farm members. More than 10 thousand pairs of hands, which bring to bear values such as origin, expertise, sustainability, products, and brands in the production of 500 thousand tonnes of high quality apples every year, destined for 75 markets worldwide.
The assortment includes more than 30 varieties, headed by the Marlene®, Südtiroler Apfel g.g.A., Pink Lady®, Kanzi®, envy™, yello®, Jazz™, Joya®, SweeTango™, RedPop®, Giga®, Cosmic Crisp® e Crimson Snow® brands.