‘Millennials’ key to value adding apple products

YOUTH TARGET: Chief executive of one of the world’s largest apple processing companies, Klaus Gasser, says looking to the demands of the Millenials will be the future.APPLE producers need to tap into the appetites of Millennials in order to capitalise on future prosperity in the industry, says the head of one of the world’s biggest apple processing companies.
Nanjing Night Net

Vog Products chief executive Klaus Gasser addressed the international trade show Interpoma in South Tyrol, Italy, last week on the cultivation, storage and marketing of the apple.

Vog Products is one of the largest apple processing companies in the world. Every day the company processes 120 trucks of apples, or 4000 tonnes. It exports and has customers in all markets across the world.

“Consumers are more increasingly asking for certification, they don’t mind asking for these attributes,” he said.

“They are concerned about proteins, organic products and fair trade.”

However, he said taste was still highly important and influences what varieties of apples are bought by consumers.

“They [Millennials] are informed, they know the products, know the contents, they want to try new things and they are very health orientated,” he said.

“They want quality over quantity and are ready to pay more.”

Mr Gasser said in the key export markets for Vog Products, such as the UK, the US and Asia, apple consumption was declining.

However there was some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of alternative value added products.

Products such as pre-cut fresh apples to use as snacks will and have worked well in US markets, for consumers looking for healthy and easy access to the fruit.

“They are washed, healthy and perfect from the viewpoint of health and safety, and consumers like them,” Mr Gasser said.

However there was one particular type of product Mr Gasser believed the apple industry could really shine – cold pressed juices and as an ingredient in green smoothies.

“In nearly all of these products there are apples,” he said.

“There is huge potential here for apple based products, we need to decide where we want to go.”

Caitlin Jarvis is a guest of the Italian Trade Agency for Interpoma 2016, that is held on November 24-26 at Bolzano, South Tyrol.

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