Shipments of South African apples to the UK market have risen by 20 percent during the 2018 season, says Hortgro, the organisation representing growers in South Africa.
Cumulative volumes of the fruit to the week ending July 1st, 2018, showed a total of 4.21 million 12.5 carton equivalents were shipped, up from 3.37m at the same point in the previous season. Total South African shipments around the world are down by four percent.
Pear volumes into the UK, meanwhile, have fallen by 20 percent, to just over 768,000, compared to 963,000 at this point last year. Overall South African pear shipments are down nine percent worldwide against last year.
Hortgro is promoting South African top fruit during the season under the Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit strapline, following on from the linked campaign for South African stone fruit that ran during the UK winter. The centrepiece of this year’s activity is advertising featuring South African top fruit in prominent outdoor locations around London, online and in magazines including The Telegraph magazine, Sunday Express, Food & Travel and other food publications. Meanwhile, recipes using South African top fruit are appearing in the press and on social media, which includes a series of short videos.
South African top fruit featured as the main ingredient in Hortgro’s South African Young Chef of the Year competition, the final for which took place in London during May. The initiative encourages young chefs either studying or working in the industry to learn about the flavour of South African fruit and the ethical
reasons for buying it. Apples and pears were also promoted as a part of the Help a South African School initiative, which sees schoolchildren around the UK learn about South African fruit farming and donate unused reading and textbooks to South African children in the process.
Jacques du Preez, general manager trade & markets at Hortgro, said: “This is the tenth consecutive year that South African top fruit and stone fruit growers have promoted their fruit in the UK market. As we reach this milestone, it’s more important than ever that we keep what we’re doing exciting and appealing, so we are continually reviewing and improving our campaign.
“Over the last decade the focus of the top fruit activity within the Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit campaign has shifted to the communication we have with consumers outside of the retail environment. There is intense competition for shelf space in the top fruit category and consumers have a wide choice; we have therefore increased our emphasis on advertising in a variety of media and social communication this year, with the aim of educating and informing their purchasing decisions when they arrive in store.”
For more information regarding Hortgro’s marketing programme in Europe visit www.beautifulcountrybeautifulfruit.co.uk