The Italian company Kiku Variety Management has big hopes for its small apple called Isaaq, which is being promoted as a snack apple.
Isaaq is being grown in Austria and Italy and is being tested in 40 countries. The New Zealand company Pickmee! will plant a thousand trees this year with the aim of expanding eventually to 100 hectares (250 acres). Pickmee! sees potential for the apple in the New Zealand market and in Asia, according to a press release from Kiku.
Jürgen Wieser, technical manager for Kröpfl, which is growing the variety in Austria, said the variety’s shelf life is stunning. Retailers like it because it is easy to handle and doesn’t bruise.
“Isaaq is probably the most underestimated brand of the moment,” said Jürgen Braun, chief executive officer of Kiku. “People argue with us why we won’t succeed, that small apples have negative associations. We know that the world is changing, that people have less money in the pocket, that there is a need of small portions, not limited to kids. Other industries do the same, and offer small portions. Why shouldn’t we?”
Crimson Snow now in Europe
Crimson Snow, a new apple from Australia, is being grown in Italy and sold in Europe, according to Kiku Variety Management, which has the global rights for the variety. Almost 100 hectares (250 acres) have been planted in Italy. Production this season was 1,200 tons, according to a press release from Kiku.
Marco Rivoira, chief executive officer of Rivoira Company, one of the Italian producers, said consumers like the attractive red color, white flesh, and exotic taste. It also has good storability and can be marketed in the late season when other varieties are gone.
It is a grower-friendly variety that can be picked once and generates high packouts.
About 20 hectares (50 acres) have been planted in Australia, and there are test plantings in the United States, South Africa, and New Zealand.