The new project by Rivoira, VI.P and VOG has been designed to develop the market of small-sized apples, ideal for snacks.
Snacking Project proposes boosting the commercial development of a segment with very promising prospects: “snack apples”. This new consortium has been founded by three Italian companies, leaders of the apple sector: Rivoira G. &F.lli from Verzuolo (Cúneo), VI.P from Laces (Bolzano) and VOG from Terlano (Bolzano).
The alliance started in 2017 thanks to the joint collaboration with IFO, a French company specialising in research and development of new apple varieties, which allowed access to an exclusive vegetable improvement project to naturally select small-sized apples. These are fruit with a natural shape that makes them ideal for snacks, ideal for eating between meals, for travelling or for eating during a short break, but also perfect for taking to school as a snack, as a tasty, healthy alternative to high calorie industrial snacks.
After the initial agreement, Rivoira, VI.P and VOG jointly guaranteed the exclusive licence for the varieties considered to be most interesting from the commercial development point of view. Subsequently, after carrying out exhaustive trials with a dozen selections indicated by the vegetable improvement project, they chose the first variety for commercial production. And as a logical consequence of this, they created a different company to give the project strength and continuity.
“Teaming up is essential to share future prospects and to innovate, as has been shown by the birth of this new organisation,” according to Thomas Oberhofer, chairman of VI.P and now also chairman of Snacking Project. “We want to offer consumers the chance to try top-quality, but also innovative apples, perfect for different moments of the day, accompanying them in all their activities, easily and immediately, both inside and outside the home.”
“We are very proud of this association with three Italian producers, leaders in the apple sector,” comments Bruno Essner, chairman of IFO. “We believe that it is a project with very solid foundations. We have managed to produce small, very tasty apples naturally, thanks to several years of research and to the collaboration of our top professionals. The exclusive licence of Snacking Project is the specific proof of the trust that we have placed in these three companies and in the work teams.”
“We are delighted with this first step. Now we have to look to the future with energy and optimism, because it is a long-term project,” says Georg Kössler, chairman of VOG.
Marco Rivoira, CEO of the Piedmontese company of the same name, shares this opinion: “Now we are in the middle of the project and the most delicate phase is starting, which consists of the first significant market trials in October, with the first tonnes harvested this year in Piedmont and in Southern Tyrol-Südtirol. We are ready and we are moving forward quickly in line with a very specific sales plan.”
The first variety chosen for the “Snacking” project is a yellow-skinned apple (photo), harvested at the end of August, sweet and crunchy and perfect for eating in autumn and winter. The first volumes have been reserved for the tasting trials, which will take place at selected points of sale. For packaging, at present a line flow pack has been chosen. Over the next few years, the project will develop and will be enhanced by the selection of other red and two-tone, late harvesting varieties, perfect for long term conservation. The real aim is to offer consumers a wide, complete range of snack apples to be present in stores 12 months of the year.